Special Counsel Robert Mueller has launched a grand jury in Washington, D.C., for his investigation into alleged Russian influence into our presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported:

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort.

A spokesman for Mr. Mueller, Joshua Stueve, declined to comment. Moscow has denied seeking to influence the election, and Mr. Trump has vigorously disputed allegations of collusion. The president has called Mr. Mueller’s inquiry a “witch hunt.”

Federal prosecutors had been using a grand jury in Alexandria, VA, before Mueller came into the job in May “to assist in their criminal investigation of Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser.”

The grand jury in D.C. will be more convenient for Mueller and his team since it’ll be located “just a few blocks from the U.S. federal courthouse where grand juries meet.”

Ty Cobb, the special counsel to President Donald Trump, said the White House did not know about a new grand jury:

“Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Mr. Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.…The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

Some experts have said this is a sign that the investigation has amped up:

“This is yet a further sign that there is a long-term, large-scale series of prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by the special counsel,” said Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas. “If there was already a grand jury in Alexandria looking at Flynn, there would be no need to reinvent the wheel for the same guy. This suggests that the investigation is bigger and wider than Flynn, perhaps substantially so.”

Thomas Zeno, a federal prosecutor for 29 years before becoming a lawyer at the Squire Patton Boggs law firm, said the grand jury is “confirmation that this is a very vigorous investigation going on.”

“This doesn’t mean he is going to bring charges,” Mr. Zeno cautioned. “But it shows he is very serious. He wouldn’t do this if it were winding down.”

Subpoenas Over Russia Meeting?

As WSJ broke the Mueller new, Reuters reported that grand jury subpoenas supposedly connected to the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., a Russian lawyer, and other people.

Trump, Jr., allegedly met with Russian lawyer Natalia Vaselnitskaya and at least three others last year. She allegedly said that the Russians were behind Trump and had information that could have helped his campaign.


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