Prosecutors say they have a recording of Trump and a witness
Prosecutors in former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal case have provided his attorneys with a recording of Trump and an unnamed witness, according to a document released Friday by the desk.
The document, called the Autodiscover Form, outlines the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad outline of the evidence prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or trial. Trump’s lawyers and media, including CBS News, had repeatedly called for such a form to be made public in the weeks following Trump’s April 4 arrest.
Trump is the first former president in American history to face criminal charges. He entered a plea of not guilty to 34 counts falsification of commercial documents for alleged payments made in connection with a hush money program.
The document lists the dates of 34 cases between February 14, 2017 and December 5, 2017 when he allegedly falsified records.
In a section devoted to the electronic evidence that will be turned over, a prosecutor from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Alvin Bragg, indicated that he disclosed to the defense a “recording of a conversation between the defendant and a witness”.
The section also says prosecutors intend to release call records between witnesses and others.
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The form was filled out on Tuesday, when Trump also appeared in a hearing before New York Judge Juan Merchan. Trump received permission from Merchan to appear via a live video feedin part to spare law enforcement the massive security operation that accompanied his impeachment.
Merchan reviewed a protective order he put in place barring Trump from publishing, or even possessing, much of the evidence to be turned over. Trump cannot speak publicly or post on social media any case material that has not yet been made public.
Some information, labeled “limited release material” 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 disciplined or fined, “up to a finding of contempt, which is punishable.”
The trial in this case is scheduled to begin on March 25, 2024.
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