In Washington, a grand jury has been impaneled by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The move shows that the investigation has moved into a new phase. Mueller’s office has declined to comment on the grand jury and the White House claims they are unaware of the grand jury being impaneled.
Ty Cobb, White House counsel said that grand jury’s are normally secret, but the White House is behind anything that moves the investigation along and will end it fairly for everyone. He also said the White House is committed to working with Mueller to make this happen. The Washington D.C. grand jury is the second grand jury convened during this investigation. Federal prosecutors convened one in Alexandria, VA to investigate Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.
When asked about the grand jury, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary said that Jim Comey, the FBI director fired by President Donald Trump, told the president three times that he was not under investigation. She said the administration has no reason to think that is any different.
Democratic Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina brought forth a bill on Monday to protect Robert Mueller from Trump trying to fire him. The bill requires the the Justice Department to get approval from a federal judge prior to firing Mueller or anyone involved in the investigation.
Booker said that special counsel should not be intimidated or interfered with because of where the investigation goes. That was the thought behind the firing of Comey by many outside of the White House.
The team that Mueller has investigating the Russian interference with last years election. Greg Andres, a former Justice Department official, is the 16th lawyer to join Robert Mueller in the investigation. Andres has also worked for the criminal division of the Justice Department.
Because the investigation has started to focus on Trump and his family, the president has increased his attacks on Mueller. In July, The New York Times reported that the president warned Mueller about looking at his family’s income saying that he believed that would be a violation because this is an investigation into Russia.
Trump believes that there have been supporters of Hillary Clinton hired by Mueller, and that the special investigator is good friends with the previous investigator, Comey. That fact bothers the president. He stands firm that he and his administration has had any collusion with Russia nor has he or his administration obstructed the investigation.
The legal team of the president has apparently been looking closely at Robert Muller’s team, trying to find any member who may have conflicts of interest or anything else that could discredit or undermine the investigation.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy FBI