Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas In Connection With Trump Jr Russia Links: Sources
WASHINGTON: A grand jury has issued subpoenas as part of a June 2016 meeting, which included the son of President Donald Trump, his son and a Russian lawyer. Two sources told Reuters on Friday that the signaling investigation is connected with a suspected Russian ingisculation in the US elections in 2016.
Sources added that US special adviser Robert Mueller had called for a grand jury investigation in Washington to help investigate Russia’s alleged interference in the vote. A source said it was set up in recent weeks.
Russia had great importance during the first six months of Trump’s presidency. US intelligence agencies have come to the conclusion that Russia has worked to tilt the presidential election in favor of Trump.
Mueller, who was appointed special advisor in May, carries the probe, which also examines Trump’s campaign potential collusion with Russia.
Moscow denies any interference and Trump denies any collusion with his campaign, while regularly denouncing the investigation as political witch hunt.
At a rally in Huntington, West Virginia on Thursday night, Trump said, “Most people know that there were no Russians in our country … We did not win because Russia won us because of you.”
Mueller’s use of a grand jury could give him expansive tools to pursue the evidence, including issuing citations and convincing witnesses to testify. According to the Wall Street Journal, a grand jury has been eliminated.
A spokesman Mueller declined to comment.
A grand jury is a group of ordinary people who, working behind closed doors, consider evidence of potential irregularities as a tax investigation and decide whether to charge.
“This is a serious development in Mueller research,” said Paul Callan, a former prosecutor.
“Since Mueller inherited an investigation that began a few months ago, this would suggest that he discovered information that indicates criminal charges, but against that is the real issue.”
A Trump lawyer, Jay Sekulow, appeared to downplay the importance of a grand jury, telling Fox News: “This is not an unusual move.”
US stocks and the dollar weakened after the news, while US Treasuries gained.
It was not immediately clear that citations were issued and the sources gave no further details.
Some lawyers said they would exert pressure on potential witnesses to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.
“When someone gets a summons to testify, they can take serious study home,” said David Sklansky, a professor at Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor.
In 2005, a grand jury convened by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald returned an indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, one of Vice Advisor Dick Cheney’s top advisers.
“A special attorney may be an indictment that occurred before,” said Renato Mariotti, a partner at Thompson Coburn and a former federal prosecutor.