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Trump Documents Charges Loom as Focus Shifts to Miami

Speculation heated up about an imminent indictment in the special counsel's classified-documents investigation of former President Donald Trump as sources said federal prosecutors told Trump's legal team that he is an official target of the probe, the Wall Street Journal reports. A federal grand jury in Miami has been hearing testimony in recent weeks as prosecutors discuss whether to bring a case there or in Washington, where a separate grand jury has conducted the majority of the probe in recent months over Trump's handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort and alleged obstruction of officials' attempts to retrieve the documents.

The investigation has closely examined actions Trump took at his Florida resort. Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has interviewed nearly every employee at Trump’s Florida home as part of the documents probe, from top political aides to maids and maintenance staff. The Justice Department might need to bring any criminal charges within the district in which they occurred, some former prosecutors said. Bringing a case in Florida would help avoid arguments from Trump’s lawyers he would be deprived a fair trial by Washington jurors, whom they perceive as skewing Democratic, legal experts said. A prosecution in Florida would be “an opportunity for DOJ to say, ‘we have a strong case, we’re going to bring this on your home turf,’” said John Fishwick, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia. The grand jury heard testimony on Wednesday from Taylor Budowich, who now heads the pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again. Budowich worked closely with Trump around August 2022, when Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched Mar-a-Lago, and in the following months, when he helped in the former president’s strenuous response to the search and the wider investigation. Trump has denied wrongdoing and said he is the target of a witch hunt. Budowich's appearance came amid growing indications that Smith’s investigation had all but wrapped up.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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