Mueller using grand jury in DC as part of Russian Federation probe

Mueller using grand jury in DC as part of Russian Federation probe

Mueller using grand jury in DC as part of Russian Federation probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to investigate the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, US media reports said, suggesting that his probe was expanding to focus on financial crimes. "Grand jury matters are typically secret", he said. It can issue subpoenas for documents, and witnesses who testify are under oath and can be prosecuted for not being truthful. Witnesses have to leave the court to consult with lawyers sitting outside and grand juries are characterised by the time-consuming act of witnesses going in and out. "The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mueller".

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday first reported the existence of the Washington grand jury.

On Friday, Trump heads to New Jersey for a 17-day working vacation. Former FBI Director James Comey "said three times the President is not under investigation and we have no reason to believe that has changed", it said in a statement provided by spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

"The reason why Democrats only talk about the totally made up Russian Federation story is because they have no message, no agenda, and no vision", said the president.

Trump's comments, which were meant to denigrate and perhaps thwart the Mueller probe, were undermined by the fact that the grand jury has been at work for several weeks in the District of Columbia.

He said instead prosecutors should be looking into Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, paid Russian speeches, and the uranium she sold to Russia. A person who confirmed the use of the grand jury to The Associated Press was not authorized to discuss the investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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CNN then weighed in with a special report, detailing how Mueller's team had seized on financial ties between Trump and associates and Russian Federation as one of the best ways to drive the investigation forward.

After a CNN report that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into President Donald Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russian Federation, crossing what Trump himself called a red line, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, warned Trump on Thursday night that firing Mueller could have damaging consequences for both Trump and the country. He connected with the partisan crowd as he said that he had won the election not because of Russian Federation but because of his supporters. In the U.S., they are normally made up of about 16 to 23 members of the public rather than the usual 12, hence "grand" jury.

But it's not just Democrats raising the issue.

While Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, also said he did not know that Mueller had called a grand jury, he stressed the White House would comply with the federal investigation.

A second, generally similar, measure was introduced by Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic Senator Chris Coons.

It may be significant, that while his remarks about the Russian Federation probe on Thursday night were scathing and scornful, they did not specifically focus on Mueller himself. But DOJ rules specify that there are only certain specific reasons that a special counsel could be fired.

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