Trump Aide Testifies in Florida Under Questioning by DOJ’s Counterintelligence Chief

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed several witnesses to testify before a previously unknown grand jury in Miami, Florida, in the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents and obstruction of justice at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump aide Taylor Budowich testified on Wednesday where the questioning was expected to be led by Jay Bratt, the justice department’s counterintelligence chief detailed to the special counsel Jack Smith.

The involvement of Bratt indicates there may be a focus on potential Espionage Act violations, particularly whether Trump showed off national security documents to people at Mar-a-Lago.

More than 20 members of Trump’s Secret Service security detail have testified in Washington.

The underlying reasons as to why prosecutors in the special counsel’s office impaneled the new grand jury in Florida, and whether it is now the only grand jury active in the case after the Washington grand jury has sat dormant for weeks, remains an open question.

If both the Florida grand jury and the Washington grand jury are active, that could indicate prosecutors are considering charges in both places and against the same targets. But if the Florida grand jury is the only grand jury in operation, that could suggest several things.

  • The Washington investigation may be finished and prosecutors may have decided about charges there, but are considering separate charges in Florida.
  • Or prosecutors may be moving the entire case to Florida if they feel charges in Washington could be at risk for improper venue if determined the crimes were all committed in Florida.

While grand juries are impaneled where a crime was likely committed, prosecutors would probably prefer charges be brought in Washington where judges are more familiar with national security cases and a jury pool would tilt more Democratic.

The Guardian, NYT

Who will be Trump' running mate?