Florida grand jury hears testimony in Trump classified documents case

Former President Donald J. A federal grand jury in Miami continued to question witnesses Wednesday in the investigation into Trump’s possession of hundreds of classified documents.

Among those appearing for questioning before the grand jury were Taylor Pudovich, Mr. Trump’s former spokesman, who now serves as Mr. He is a top adviser to a super PAC supporting Trump’s presidential bid.

Mr. Hours after Budovich left the grand jury, conservative writer John Solomon published an op-ed saying federal prosecutors were the target of their investigation into the former president and that he was likely to be indicted “immediately.” Mr. Mr. Salomon for the National Archives. Also serves as one of Trump’s representatives.

Mr. Trump said it was “not true” that he would be impeached. But when asked by The New York Times if he had been told he was the target of a federal investigation, Mr. Trump did not respond directly, saying “you have to understand” that he was not in direct contact with the lawyers. “That’s not true,” he repeated, and was told he would be charged.

Some time later, Mr. At his club in Bedminster, NJ Trump, on his social media site Mr. He issued a message denying Solomon’s claim.

“Nobody ever told me I was being accused and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done nothing wrong, but I’ve assumed for years that I was a target of the armed DOJ & FBI. .”

The back-and-forth comes amid real signs that special counsel Jack Smith is nearing the end of his investigation into the case and nearing a decision on whether to bring an indictment.

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On Monday, Mr. Trump’s three lawyers, Mr. Smith and other attorneys met at the Justice Department, Mr. Those close to Trump have blocked the allegations, Mr. Smith team.

Mr. Budovich appeared in a Miami courtroom around 9 a.m. for an hour or two of questioning.

Prosecutors were keen to hear the report that Mr Trump kept his aides shortly after news broke that National Archives officials recovered 15 boxes of material from him in January 2022. Mr. Budovich Mr. Time.

The statement Mr. Trump originally wanted to send said he had returned all of the presidential items he had, two people briefed on the matter said. A draft has been written, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors have the draft and have asked witnesses about emails aides sent about it, the people briefed said.

The report’s claim that Mr Trump has returned all government records in his possession is false. After discovering that 15 boxes contain very important documents, still Mr. Prosecutors have issued a subpoena demanding the return of classified documents in Trump’s possession. Mr. Trump’s lawyers subsequently hit back, but the FBI later accused Mr. While searching Trump’s private club and Mar-a-Lago in Florida, another secret item was found.

After the withdrawal of 15 boxes in early 2022 Mr. The statement that Trump actually sent did not say that he had returned all the government goods he had.

After his grand jury appearance, Mr. Budovich posted a message on Twitter saying he answered “every question honestly.” He described the investigation as “a bogus and deeply troubling attempt to use government power to get at Trump.”

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His attorney, Stanley Woodward Jr., declined to comment.

Mr. Budovitch’s appearance is Mr. The Smith documents came amid signs the investigation was nearing its final stages and he was poised to make a decision on whether to press charges. In court filings last year, Mr. Prosecutors indicated they were investigating whether Trump violated them and whether he blocked government efforts to recover them.

Mr. who will break the 2020 election. The special counsel’s office is also conducting a separate investigation into Trump’s efforts. The status of that investigation appears to be slightly behind the classified documents case.

Most of the documents are being investigated by a grand jury sitting in Washington, which has spent the past several months investigating Mr. heard from numerous witnesses, including some of Trump’s White House advisers; Some low-level workers at Mar-a-Lago; and more than 20 members of his Secret Service security detail.

Only a handful of witnesses — including some Mar-a-Lago employees — have appeared before a grand jury in Miami that appears to have begun hearing testimony last month, familiar with its operations. It remains uncertain how many other witnesses are scheduled to testify before the Miami grand jury.

Recently, the grand jury in Washington has deadlocked or suspended testimony, according to people familiar with its operations. The last witnesses to testify in Washington did so in early or mid-May, some of them said.

Prosecutors eventually said Mr. If Trump is to be charged — as he and some of his advisers are said to believe — Mr. Whether Smith’s team will file charges in Washington, Miami or both remains an open question.

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The documents show that several central events in the investigation occurred in Florida — perhaps a search at Mar-a-Lago last summer — and the case was opened by national security lawyers working at the Justice Department in Washington. Legal experts have debated which location provides the best venue for lawyers to defend criminal charges.

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