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Former Trump aide Budowich says he testified in Trump probe

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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Taylor Budowich, a former spokesman for Donald Trump, said on Wednesday he had appeared before a grand jury in Miami to answer questions about the former president’s handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

Budowich, who now leads a Trump-allied Super PAC, MAGA Inc, said on Twitter that he had fulfilled his legal obligation and “answered every question honestly.”

He criticized the Justice Department’s probe as “bogus and deeply troubling,” and vowed to work to get Trump re-elected.

“I will not be intimidated by this weaponization of government,” he wrote.

Federal investigators are examining whether Trump and his associates broke the law by retaining U.S. documents, including at his Florida home, after leaving the White House and whether they then tried to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation.

A federal grand jury panel in Washington has heard months of testimony in that case. It is not known whether federal prosecutors plan to bring charges in Florida instead of or in addition to Washington. News that a second grand jury in Miami was also hearing evidence in the case emerged only this week.

It is unclear why two grand juries are hearing evidence in the same case, though legal experts have previously questioned whether some of the charges at issue would need to be filed in Florida because the alleged crimes took place in Palm Beach at Trump’s home.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped Jack Smith as U.S. special counsel to oversee the documents case as well as the role of Trump and others in a wide range of actions surrounding his 2020 presidential election loss that culminated in his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump is the first U.S. president past or present ever to face criminal charges, having pleaded not guilty in April to felony charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to a porn star before his election in 2016.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu in WashingtonEditing by Andy Sullivan, Andrea Ricci and Matthew Lewis)

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