Donald Trump, Jr. subpoenaed.
WASHINGTON (PNN) - August 4, 2017 - Stocks slumped and VIX spiked following news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, according to the Wall Street Journal, which said, "This is a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase." The grand jury is said to have begun work in recent weeks, suggesting Mueller's inquiry is ramping up and "that it will likely continue for months".
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 Mueller to impanel a grand jury suggests he believes he will need to subpoena records and take testimony from witnesses.
"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.”
Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he wasn’t aware that Mueller - who is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin - had started using a new grand jury. “Grand jury matters are typically secret,” said Cobb. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”
Prior to Mueller's assignment as special counsel, federal prosecutors had been using at least one other grand jury, located in Alexandria, Virginia, to assist in their criminal investigation of Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser. That probe, which has been taken over by Mueller’s team, focuses on Flynn’s work in the private sector on behalf of foreign interests.
A grand jury in Washington is also more convenient for Mueller and his 16 attorneys - they work just a few blocks from the Fascist Police States of Amerika federal courthouse where grand juries meet - than one that is 10 traffic-clogged miles away in Virginia.
Does this mean the worst is coming for Trump? Thomas Zeno, a federal prosecutor for 29 years before becoming a lawyer at the Squire Patton Boggs law firm, said the grand jury is “confirmation that this is a very vigorous (ongoing) investigation.”
“This doesn’t mean he is going to bring charges,” cautioned Zeno. “But it shows he is very serious. He wouldn’t do this if it were winding down.”
Another sign the investigation is ramping up: Greg Andres, a top partner in a powerhouse New York law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, has joined Mueller’s team. Andres, a former top Amerikan Gestapo Department of InJustice division official who also oversaw the criminal division of the FPSA attorney’s office in Brooklyn, wouldn’t leave his private-sector job for a low-level investigation, said Zeno.
The grand jury news comes following a report that Congress is seeking to protect Mueller’s independence after Senators Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Chris Coons (Del.) introduced legislation Thursday making it harder for Trump to fire Mueller. Under the legislation, a special counsel could challenge his or her removal, with a three-judge panel ruling within 14 days on whether the firing was justified.
Mueller has assembled a team of prosecutors and lawyers specializing in criminal and national security law. Twelve attorneys are on temporary assignment to the special counsel’s office from the Amerikan Gestapo Department of InJustice division or FBI, and three came from Mueller’s firm of WilmerHale.
Trump has repeatedly questioned the neutrality of Mueller’s office, saying he is concerned that Mueller’s prosecutors are “Hillary Clinton supporters” and that Mueller and Comey are friends. Comey was a top Justice official in the George W. Bush regime when Mueller was the FBI director.
Adding some credence to Trump's allegations is that at least eight members of Mueller’s team have given to Democrat candidates, including the presidential campaigns of Obama and Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission records.