Mueller Impanels Trump Grand Jury And Issues Subpoenas
Above Photo: Robert Mueller (cnn.com)
Note: The two stories below report that the independent counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump on Russiagate and related issues is not going away anytime soon and that the prosecutor is escalating to the next step in the process. While we have been reporting on how questions are growing as to whether Russiagate is real and whether there was a Russian hacking of the DNC computers, Mueller is continuing to pursue Trump over related issues.
These grand jury actions are a big step. This is the second grand jury, the first focused on form national security advisor Michael Flynn. This grand jury was impaneled weeks ago but was reported on August 3, 2017. The Trump administration was unaware of the existence of the grand jury. This is an indication that the “probe has more than one line of inquiry.” The grand jury means Mueller has the power to subpoena testimony and documents, sworn testimony will be taken and possible indictments could be coming (the grand jury The grand jury has a lifespan of 18 months).
CNN reports what seems like a detailed investigation into Trump’s corporations, their finances, Russia connections to Trump associates, Trump shell companies, Trump’s personal finances, and his family’s finances. While some will argue these are tangents from the initial investigation into Russiagate, Mueller was given broad authority. People may remember that the investigation into President Clinton began with the Whitewater land scandal and morphed into an investigation into a sex scandal that led to his impeachment in the House and impeachment trial in the senate.
Yesterday, Chief of Staff John Kelly told Attorney General Jeff Sessions his job was safe but that was before the grand jury actions by Mueller. The senate is leaving town on Friday and if Trump were going to fire him the recess would be the time to do so as that would let the president make a recess appointment to replace him without senate confirmation. Trump may have told Kelly Sessions job was safe but with these grand jury actions, that may change. KZ
Mueller impanels grand jury in Russia probe — suggesting he is seeking ‘large-scale series of prosecutions’
Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Journal reports the grand jury convened in recent weeks and will likely continue for several months, according to two sources familiar with the probe. The move signals Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign has intensified.
“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,” Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, explained to the Wall Street Journal. “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.”
Mueller was appointed in May by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters involving Russia. Trump has repeatedly derided Sessions over his recusal, suggesting he would not have appointed him as attorney general had he known ahead of time. He’s also publicly berated the special counsel, calling the probe “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
As the Journal notes, a separate grand jury in Alexandria, VA, had already been convened prior to Mueller’s appointment to look into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn’s work on behalf of foreign governments. Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser in February after it was revealed he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
According to a memo written by ousted FBI Director James Comey—who Trump fired to relieve “pressure” from the Russia investigation—the president had asked Comey to end the department’s investigation into Flynn. Trump also asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him, a request the former FBI director declined.
Trump has reportedly been mulling over firing Mueller, a move Republicans and Democrats warn would be the “beginning of the end” of his presidency.
Grand jury issues subpoenas connected to Trump Jr.’s 2016 Russia meeting: report
Reuters is reporting that grand jury subpoenas have been issued in conjunction with a meeting in June of 2016 attended by President Donald Trump’s son Donald Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
BREAKING: Grand jury subpoenas have been issued related to June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Russian lawyers and others – sources pic.twitter.com/HN3cMAB4JS
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) August 3, 2017