Washington — A former spokesperson and aide to former President Donald Trump testified before a federal grand jury in Miami, Fla., Wednesday as part of special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's retention of classified records after he left office.
Taylor Budowich — now head of the Trump-aligned political action committee MAGA, Inc. — confirmed that he appeared at a Florida courthouse in a statement criticizing investigators.
"Today, in what can only be described as a bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to 'get' Trump, I fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front a federal grand jury and I answered every question honestly," his statement said. "America has become a sick and broken nation—a decline led by Joe Biden and power hungry Democrats. I will not be intimidated by this weaponization of government. For me, the need to unite our nation and make America great again has never been more clear than it is today."
Budowich's super PAC is supporting Trump's reelection campaign. His attorney, Stanley Woodward, who was seen with him outside the courthouse, Wednesday, declined to comment.
A grand jury in Florida has been hearing testimony in recent weeks from witnesses connected to the Justice Department's probe into the, sources confirmed to CBS News. The proceedings in Florida follow months of grand jury testimony from witnesses and the presentation of evidence by the special counsel's prosecutors in Washington, D.C.'s federal courthouse.
Witnesses raniging from Mar-a-Lago employees to close Trump aides and attorneys have testified in the nation's capital in recent months. The relationship between the recent Florida proceedings and those in Washingtion, D.C., remains unclear, but Budowich's appearance on Wedesday shows the grand jury is still considering evidence.
The Florida grand jury proceedings were first reported by The New York Times.
The special counsel was appointed last year after the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, collecting more than 100 documents with classified markings. Prosecutors are also looking into whether there were efforts to obstruct the recovery of the records, according to multiple sources close to the investigation, after months of wrangling between the federal government and Trump's legal team to over the documents.
Wednesday's testimony comes the same week that CBS News first reported Trump's attorneys, including Smith himself, to discuss their concerns about conduct during the investigation. Several sources with knowledge of the investigation believe a charging decision could be imminent.
Trump has consistently denied wrongdoing in the case and characterized the investigation as politically motivated. On his social media platform Wednesday, he accused the Biden administration of election interference: "they are launching all of the many Fake Investigations against me RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF MY CAMPAIGN, something which is unheard of & not supposed to happen. DOJ, FBI, NEW YORK A.G., NEW YORK D.A., ATLANTA D.A. FASCISTS ALL!"
Investigators have uncovered evidence that Trump's staff moved boxes the day before a June 2022 visit to Mar-a-Lago by the FBI and a federal prosecutor, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News. This was first reported by The Washington Post.
The special counsel has also obtained in recent months an CNN.in which Trump acknowledges he held onto a classified Pentagon document after he left the White House, according to people familiar with the matter. Two of these sources said Trump can be heard on the recording conceding that there were national security restrictions on the memo because it detailed a potential attack on Iran. It is not clear from the recording whether Trump was in possession of the document at the time or was just describing its contents to at least three people who were present during the meeting, the people said. CBS News has not listened to the audio, the existence of which was first reported by
A spokesperson Smith's office declined to comment.
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