Grand Jury Sub­poe­nas Is­sued in Rus­sia Probe

In­tel­li­gence agen­cies have con­cluded that Rus­sia worked to tilt the pres­i­den­tial poll in Trump’s favour

The Economic Times - - Around The World - Karen Freifeld & John Wal­cott

Wash­ing­ton: A grand jury has is­sued sub­poe­nas in con­nec­tion with a June 2016 meet­ing that in­cluded Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and a Rus­sian lawyer, two sources told Reuters on Thurs­day, sig­nalling an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is gathering pace into sus­pected Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 US elec­tion. The sources added that US spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller had con­vened the grand jury in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Wash­ing­ton to help ex­am­ine al­le­ga­tions of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the vote. One of the sources said it was as­sem­bled in re­cent weeks. Rus­sia has loomed large over the first six months of the Trump pres­i­dency. US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have con­cluded that Rus­sia worked to tilt the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Trump’s favour. Mueller, who was ap­pointed spe­cial coun­sel in May, is lead­ing the probe, which also ex­am­ines po­ten­tial col­lu­sion by the Trump cam­paign with Rus­sia. Moscow de­nies any med­dling and Trump de­nies any col­lu­sion by his cam­paign while reg­u­larly de­nounc­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions as po­lit­i­cal witch hunts. At a rally in Hunt­ing­ton, West Virginia, on Thurs­day night, Trump said: “Most peo­ple know there were no Rus­sians in our cam­paign. ... We didn’t win be­cause of Rus­sia. We won be­cause of you.” Mueller’s use of a grand jury could give him ex­pan­sive tools to pur­sue ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing is­su­ing sub­poe­nas and com­pelling wit­nesses to tes­tify. The Wall Street Jour­nal ear­lier re­ported a grand jury was im­pan­eled. A spokesman for Mueller de­clined com­ment.

A grand jury is a group of or­di­nary cit­i­zens who, work­ing be­hind closed doors, con­sid­ers ev­i­dence of po­ten­tial crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing that a prose­cu­tor is in­ves­ti­gat­ing and de­cides whether charges should be brought. “This is a se­ri­ous de­vel­op­ment in the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Paul Cal­lan, a for­mer prose­cu­tor.

“Given that Mueller in­her­ited an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that be­gan months ago, it would sug­gest that he has un­cov­ered­in­for­ma­tion­pointinginthe di­rec­tion of crim­i­nal charges. But against whom is the real ques­tion.” A lawyer f o r T r u mp, J a y Seku­low, ap­peared to down­play the sig­nif­i­cance of a grand jury, telling Fox News: “This is not an un­usual move.”

US spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller had con­vened the grand jury in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Wash­ing­ton

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