Russian Federation probe: Grand jury set up, subpoenas issued

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in the investigation into Russian campaign interference, already reportedly issuing subpoenas as a bipartisan effort launched in the Senate to protect the former FBI director.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 USA election, in what amounts to a dramatic escalation of the continuing scandal.

The move signals that Mueller's probe is ramping up as he takes a more aggressive approach to gathering information on possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign team.

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The Wall Street Journal first reported the use of a grand jury. "Bob said to me, 'Are you talking about the failing New York Times and CNN?' " Trump reported.

Once a grand jury is impaneled, it can be used to subpoena documents and get key figures to testify under oath if there's any evidence of a crime. Officials in Moscow have also denied playing a role in Trump's surprise victory last November. A person who confirmed the use of the grand jury to The Associated Press was not authorized to discuss the investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. "A grand jury in Washington is also more convenient for Mr. Mueller and his 16 attorneys-they work just a few blocks from the USA federal courthouse where grand juries meet-than one that is 10 traffic-clogged miles away in Virginia".

Mr Mueller was a former federal prosecutor in Washington before becoming FBI director, where he spent 12 years before stepping down in 2013. "The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly ..."

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The president has called the investigation into his administration's ties with Russian Federation a "witch hunt" and a "hoax" that is being used to "demean the United States". A lawyer for Kushner said Trump's son-in-law "briefly attended" the meeting.

The setting up of a grand jury is a significant development in the probe as it could lead to criminal indictments.

It was reported on Thursday night, USA time, that he appointed the grand jury.

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In a statement regarding his "no" vote, McCain criticized the bill for how quickly it was pushed through the Senate. Schumer lavished praise on the three Republican defectors who joined Democrats to tank the GOP bill-Sens.

Mueller's team is broadly investigating whether any Trump associates colluded with the Russian government in its attempts to disrupt the election.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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