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August 4, 2017

8-4-2017 A big, beautiful grand jury Nuggets….(Vox)

  • A big development in the ongoing Trump/Russia investigation: Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. [WSJ / Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau]
  • There’s a lot of legal jargon here, but grand juries are important in criminal investigations because they empower investigators to get key documents, put witnesses under oath, and potentially seek an indictment (a formal charge in a criminal proceeding). [WSJ / Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau]
  • This is important because it signals that Mueller’s investigation is ramping up, and could be moving into the realm of potentially charging people with crimes. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • Investigators have issued grand jury subpoenas in regards to the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer. [Reuters / Karen Freifeld]
  • Investigators apparently are homing in on Trump’s financial dealings in Russia, which is something the president has warned is a “red line” that he does not want them to cross. [CNN / Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, and Shimon Prokupecz]
  • They are also looking hard at whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Some high-ranking FBI officials could be considered witnesses in that investigation, as well. [Vox / Murray Waas]
  • Trump’s favorite phrase for the investigation is a “witch hunt,” and there’s been lots of speculation that the president could get so incensed with its continuation that he might just fire Mueller. [NYT / Maggie Haberman and Michael Shear]
  • But the grand jury, and a new Senate bill that would require a judge to sign off on any Justice Department move to fire the special counsel, means that Mueller isn’t in this alone. [The Hill / Jordan Cairney]

 

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