Prosecutors say they have a recording of Trump and a witness
Prosecutors in former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal case have released to his attorneys a recording of Trump and a witness, whose identity was not disclosed, according to a document the office made public Friday.
The document, called an automatic discovery form, describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial. Trump’s attorneys and media organizations, including CBS News, had repeatedly requested that such a form be made public in the weeks since Trump’s arrest on April 4.
Trump is the first former president in American history to face criminal charges. He has entered a not guilty plea to 34 felony counts of falsification of business records for alleged payments made as part of a “hush money” scheme.
The document lists the dates of 34 instances between Feb. 14, 2017 and Dec. 5, 2017 when he allegedly falsified records.
In a section devoted to electronic evidence that will be turned over, a prosecutor for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office indicated they have disclosed to the defense a “recording of a conversation between defendant and a witness.”
The section also indicates prosecutors intend to disclose recordings of calls between witnesses and others.
An attorney for Trump did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The form was completed Tuesday, which was also when Trump appeared at a hearing before New York Judge Juan Merchan. Trump was given permission by Merchan to appear via a live video feed, in part to spare law enforcement the massive security operation that accompanied his arraignment.
Merchan reviewed a protective order he put in place, barring Trump from publicizing, or even possessing, much of the evidence to be turned over. Trump cannot speak publicly about, or post on social media, any case material that had not already been made public.
Some information, labeled “Limited Dissemination Materials” by prosecutors, will only be available to Trump in the presence of his attorneys.
Merchan told Trump that if he violates the order he can be sanctioned or fined, “up to a finding of contempt, which is punishable.”
Trial in the case is scheduled to begin March 25, 2024.
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