“We have a case pending right now in Massachusetts where that young Massachusetts National Guard Airman was charged with similar types of accounts under the Espionage Act for taking and withholding unauthorized documents that affected our national defense « , Esper told host Jake Tapper. .
Esper outlined scenarios where mishandling of classified documents could cause problems for the United States.
« Imagine if a foreign agent, another country were to discover documents that outline America’s vulnerabilities or the weaknesses of the United States military, » he said. “Think about how it could be exploited, how it could be used against us in a conflict, how an enemy could develop countermeasures, things like that. Or in the case of the most significant piece that was raised in the indictment about US plans to attack Iran, think about how that affects our readiness, our ability to pursue an attack. »
Tapper asked Esper if he thought Trump, if elected president in 2024, could ever entrust the nation’s secrets again.
« Based on his actions, again, if proven true under the indictment by special counsel, no, » Esper said.
“I mean, it’s just an irresponsible action that puts our service members at risk, it puts our nation’s security at risk. You can’t have these documents around.
Trump selected Esper as defense secretary in June 2019 and fired him in November 2020. “Mark Esper was fired,” he tweeted at the time.
Esper was critical of Trump in his book « A Sacred Oath, » which was released in May. Among other things, Esper described his shock and dismay at a plan to send up to 250,000 American troops to the US-Mexico border. He also said that Trump has called for launching rocket attacks on Mexican drug labs.