Report: Mueller Using Multiple Grand Juries in Russia Probe
By Todd Beamon
Russia special counsel Robert Mueller is using two grand juries — and may use multiple ones — as he broadens his investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin, a lawyer involved in the case said Friday.
So far, Mueller is using grand juries in Washington and Alexandria, Va. — a lawyer told USA Today that both locations “continued to be active in recent days.”
The lawyer “requested anonymity to discuss the matter,” according to the report.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Mueller had impaneled the Washington grand jury.
Reuters disclosed that subpoenas had been issued to Donald Trump Jr. involving his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer under the guise of obtaining damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The grand juries would give Mueller broad authority to subpoena documents and obtain testimony from witnesses.
President Donald Trump has slammed the Moscow probe as a “witch hunt.”
“With respect to reports of a federal grand jury, I have no reason to believe that President Trump is being investigated,” John Dowd, Trump’s lead outside attorney, told USA Today.
He said he had not been made aware of the Washington panel before the initial reports were published.
Ty Cobb, special White House counsel, said Thursday that “the White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of [Mueller’s] work fairly.
“The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller,” he said.
Mueller’s team is probing whether President Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9 — ultimately leading to Mueller’s appointment by the Justice Department — and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s dealings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Trump dismissed Flynn in February amid questions about his disclosures to Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian ties.
At a West Virginia rally on Thursday, Trump slammed the Russia story as a “total fabrication.”
“It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics,” the president told a rally at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. “It just makes them feel better when they have nothing else to talk about.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Friday attacked the leaks regarding grand juries, saying that such investigations are “meant to remain secret.”
“It could be anybody that’s on the grand jury,” Conway told “Fox & Friends” on Fox News. “It could be one of the lawyers; it could be anyone, I suppose.”
In addition, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to rein in government leaks that he said Friday undermined national security.
Sessions said that Justice Department officials were reviewing guidelines meant to make it difficult for the government to subpoena journalists about their sources, and would not rule out the possibility that a reporter could be prosecuted.
“No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information,” Sessions said at a news conference in Washington.
“No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”