Robert Mueller, special counsel in the Justice Department’s investigation into alleged ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., and issued subpoenas.

“Grand juries are powerful investigative tools that allow prosecutors to subpoena documents, put witnesses under oath and seek indictments, if there is evidence of a crime. Legal experts said that the decision by Mr. Mueller to impanel a grand jury suggests he believes he will need to subpoena records and take testimony from witnesses,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “A grand jury in Washington is also more convenient for Mr. Mueller and his 16 attorneys—they work just a few blocks from the U.S. federal courthouse where grand juries meet—than one that is 10 traffic-clogged miles away in Virginia.”

READ: It’s Time to Ask Again: Can a Sitting President Be Indicted?

CNN says the grand jury subpoenas are related to Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer:

The subpoena [related to the Donald Trump Jr. meeting] seeks both documents and testimony from people involved in the meeting, CNN has learned. That meeting has drawn scrutiny since an email exchange beforehand indicated the Russians offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton. …

The moves signal a new step in the investigation, which Trump has lambasted as a “witch hunt.” Trump has denied any collusion between his team and the Russians. US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia attempted to sway the presidential contest in Trump’s favor.

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the President, said he wasn’t aware that 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.”

Trump ignored shouted questions about Mueller as he departed the White House on Thursday afternoon.

Smiling and waving, Trump walked from the Oval Office to his Marine One helicopter on a sunny August afternoon. He was joined by son Eric Trump and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, as well as Jared Kushner and new chief of staff John Kelly.

A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment on the reports.

“The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, signals that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry will likely continue for months,” The Wall Street Journal says. “It is unclear how long Mr. Mueller’s investigation will last, and there is no deadline for its completion. The probe is complicated by the classified nature of much of the information Mr. Mueller’s team is reviewing.”

Politicians reacted to the news on Twitter:


—Posted by Emma Niles

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