Despite all the bluster from Team Trump railing against the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the former president’s spokesman has been quietly cooperating with investigators, a new lawsuit reveals.
Taylor Budowich, a flack for former President Donald Trump, has turned over more than 1,700 pages of material and testified under oath before the committee for four hours, according to a lawsuit he filed in federal court on Friday.
On Christmas Eve, Budowich sued the committee’s members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the bank J.P. Morgan Chase to block investigators’ attempts to seize information about him from the financial institution. The lawsuit also provides a glimpse into the committee’s work.
Although Budowich in the past has lambasted the bipartisan panel investigating the attempt to halt certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory as a “sham Unselect Committee,” it turns out that he’s been cooperating for some time.
In his lawsuit, Budowich discloses that at his deposition on Thursday before the committee, he “answered questions concerning payments made and received regarding his involvement in the planning of a peaceful, lawful rally to celebrate President Trump’s accomplishments.”
That revelation shows how the committee continues to probe to what extent—if any—Trump and his inner circle tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power and drive a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.
Budowich is suing the committee, in part he claims, because he was so ticked off that investigators went to the bank to try to get additional information about the payments he himself disclosed.
“The Select Committee’s deceptive tactics to ambush Mr. Budowich and deprive him of a meaningful opportunity to object to the production of personal financial records demonstrates a lack of good faith by the Select Committee,” the lawsuit states.
Budowich’s lawyer is Christopher Westley Dempsey, a former immigration attorney at the Justice Department.
In court filings, Budowich claims that he testified before the committee on Thursday, only to come home and get a notification from his bank at 7 p.m. that it was about to turn over documents about his account. The bank apparently rejected his pleas to block that from happening, and only gave him until the next afternoon to provide some sort of official documents to prevent it from turning over the records, so Budowich sued in District of Columbia federal court instead. He is now asking a judge to use an emergency restraining order to block the bank.
Budowich’s effort is only the latest last-minute jockeying from Team Trump to try and stop the committee from obtaining White House documents, phone logs, emails, and bank records that could shed light on their involvement in the run-up to Jan. 6.
Trump has sued to stop the committee from getting internal memos from his final weeks in office, when he actively cast doubt on 2020 election results, and used lawsuits and threats in an attempt to toss out votes and erase Biden’s lead.
A federal judge and an appellate panel have ruled against Trump, who has now taken that fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, loyal lieutenants like former White House strategist Steven Bannon, ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, and one-time chief of staff Mark Meadows, who have all resisted subpoenas to testify before the committee, now face potential jail time for contempt of Congress. Bannon has already been arrested and faces trial next year.