Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a grand jury in Washington, entering a new phase of the Russia investigation.
The move is widely seen as Mueller thinking he has something on either Trump and/or Trump’s top aides or family, who are all being investigated by the independent prosecutor and his legal team. As was reported on in the Wall Street Journal, grand juries have “powerful investigative tools, allowing them to subpoena documents, put witnesses under oath and seek indictments.”
Shortly after it was announced, Trump’s White House said he will be leaving Washington D.C. for an astonishing 17 days, preferring to spend time at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ.
Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he wasn’t aware that Mr. Mueller had started using 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.”
“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.”
Another sign that the investigation is gaining ground is due to the fact that Mueller has just added a former top Justice Department to his legal team, Mr. Andres. He left a very high paying job in the private sector.
“People like Greg Andres don’t leave private practice willy-nilly,” said Thomas Zeno, a federal prosecutor for 29 years. “The fact he is being added after a couple of months shows how serious this is and that it could last a long time.”