Next step in collusion investigation
Special Counsel Robert Mueller took a big step on Thursday in regards to his investigation into potential collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign by officially impaneling a grand jury. This serves as an escalation into what has already been a controversial and closely monitored investigation. There has been a flurry of emotion from both parties over this news and much conjecture over what this means for the investigation and for the Trump administration moving forward.
According to reports, Mueller assembled the grand jury to focus on the now infamous June 9th, 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., other Trump campaign team members, and those with supposedly deep ties to the Russian government. The grand jury will have subpoena powers, allowing them to interview persons of interest and witnesses in this case. There was no official announcement of the grand jury, considering that all of this is intended to be conducted in secret, but the subpoenas being sent out exposed this step taken by Mueller. No, this was likely not a “leak” like the ones the Trump administration has been hammering on. Though it may fit that narrative, it’s not the case here.
Impaneling a grand jury is standard operating procedure for all investigations of this kind. This step does not in any way definitively prove that any criminal wrongdoing was perpetrated. However, that possibility is still very real. It will likely be weeks if not months before we hear of anything resulting from the grand jury’s investigation.
There are additional reports suggesting that the investigation is also looking into financial ties to Russia with Trump, his organizations, and his family. President Trump has said that any review of financial documents would be a red line and would go beyond what is necessary for this investigation.
There has been speculation that President Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller as Special Counsel. This would be a politically devastating move to say the least. Trump would be smart to keep his head down. He has been vocally against this investigation every step of the way and constantly deems this to be a “witch hunt.” That may be true, and if it is, there is no reason to feed the media fire during an ongoing investigation involving those close to him. Especially when impaneling a grand jury is a standard next step.
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