Rus­sian in­ves­ti­ga­tion goes up a gear with grand jury

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

SPE­CIAL coun­sel Robert Mueller has em­pan­eled a grand jury to in­ves­ti­gate Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence with the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported yes­ter­day – a step to­ward pos­si­ble crim­i­nal in­dict­ments.

The news­pa­per, cit­ing two un­named sources fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter, re­ported the grand jury had be­gun its work in the US cap­i­tal Wash­ing­ton “in re­cent weeks”.

The move is a sign that the sweep­ing fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion – which in­cludes al­le­ga­tions that Trump cam­paign of­fi­cials co­or­di­nated with Rus­sia to tilt the elec­tion in the Repub­li­can’s favour – is gath­er­ing pace. The es­tab­lish­ment of a grand jury will al­low Mr Mueller – a for­mer FBI di­rec­tor – to sub­poena doc­u­ments and get sworn tes­ti­mony. It could lead to crim­i­nal in­dict­ments.

“It’s a sig­nif­i­cant es­ca­la­tion of the process,” na­tional se­cu­rity at­tor­ney Bradley Moss said.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he hoped for a “truly hon­est” out­come from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion that has con­sumed the open­ing months of his pres­i­dency.

Mr Trump has re­peat­edly de­nied al­le­ga­tions of col­lu­sion, say­ing he is the vic­tim of a po­lit­i­cal “witch hunt” and “fake news”.

Mr Mueller ( pic­tured) is also said to be in­ves­ti­gat­ing fi­nan­cial records of Trump as­so­ciates un­re­lated to Rus­sia or the elec­tion, CNN re­ported.

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