WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal prosecutors are installing a grand jury in Florida Investigation of possible misuse of classified information at former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday night.
The grand jury is an adjunct to a separate panel that has been meeting in Washington for months to consider allegations against Trump of storing hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and potentially obstructing government efforts to recover the records.
It’s not clear why prosecutors are using an additional grand jury, described to The Associated Press by a person who insisted on anonymity to discuss secret proceedings, or what witnesses might testify before her.
Scores of witnesses, including Trump attorneys, close associates of the former president and officials at the Trump Organization, have appeared before the Washington grand jury over the past year. However, the use of a different grand jury in Florida suggests prosecutors may be eyeing at least some possible indictments in that state as well.
The Mar-a-Lago investigation, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team of prosecutors, is believed to be in its final stages and a decision on charges is expected soon. Trump’s attorneys met Monday at the Justice Department with officials, including Smith, part of the legal team’s effort to raise concerns about what they believe prosecutors misconduct and try to argue against a possible indictment.
The investigations focused not only on the possession of secret documents, including at a top-secret level, but also on Trump’s refusal to return the documents when asked, as well as possible obstructions. The FBI issued a subpoena for confidential records at the property last year and, after suspecting that Trump and his agents hadn’t returned all the documents, sent it back with one search warrant and another 100 documents with classification marks seized.
Investigators questioned a Trump employee who was spotted by a surveillance camera moving boxes of documents in Mar-a-Lago. As part of an obstruction investigation that focused in part on surveillance footage, they recently expressed interest in a worker draining a pool at the resort last October, an act that caused flooding at the property, according to another person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. This area of interest was first reported by CNN.
A spokesman for Smith declined Tuesday night to comment on the existence of another grand jury.