For those of us following Donald Trump’s criminal investigations, the focus for months has been on three specific locations: (1) New York City, where the former president has already been indicted; (2) Fulton County, Georgia, where the Republican is facing a possible indictment for election interference; and (3) Washington, D.C., where special counsel Jack Smith is scrutinizing two of Trump’s scandals.
This week, however, a fourth locale was added to the mix: Miami.
As The New York Times reported overnight, a “previously unknown” federal grand jury in the Sunshine State has recently heard testimony as part of the former president’s classified documents controversy. The article added, “only a handful of witnesses” have testified before the Florida grand jury, with “at least one witness” having already given testimony, and another “set to testify on Wednesday.”
And who, pray tell, might that be? The Times added this morning:
Among those who appeared for questions was Taylor Budowich, a former spokesman to Mr. Trump who now is a top adviser at the super PAC supporting Mr. Trump’s presidential candidacy. It remained unclear what Mr. Budowich was asked by prosecutors working for the special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the inquiry, or what responses he provided.
Right about now, I suspect plenty of readers are saying, “I guess that’s interesting, but who’s Taylor Budowich?”
NBC News explained, "Budowich served in an all-encompassing role for the former president, traveling with him and serving as his spokesman before Trump formally launched his 2024 bid for president. At that point, Budowich officially announced that he’d be at the helm of the Trump-aligned super PAC, MAGA Inc."
While the former president’s former spokesperson might not have an especially high profile — Budowich is not a household name along the lines of others in Trump’s inner circle — it's worth emphasizing why he has a relevant perspective of interest to prosecutors.
NBC News noted this morning, for example, that Budowich, among other things, provided public statements to news outlets about the classified documents scandal, suggesting he had a familiarity with key details. A separate NBC News item added:
A source familiar with today’s grand jury proceedings in Miami says Taylor Budowich testified for about an hour in the special counsel’s inquiry into Trump’s retention of classified documents. Budowich answered questions, the source said, about a past public statement on behalf of Trump representing that the former president had not retained classified records. He was questioned about how he formed the basis for that understanding. At least one email communication was also of interest to investigators, the source said.
For his part, Budowich acknowledged his testimony in an angry Twitter missive this morning, describing the process as “a bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to ‘get’ Trump.” After saying he testified truthfully, the MAGA Inc. chief re-endorsed the former president and said the United States “has become a sick and broken nation.”
Watch this space.