The Wall Street Journal announced Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate whether Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
A January report from the U.S. intelligence community asserts that the highest levels of the Russian government were involved in trying to influence and change the presidential election through a myriad of schemes and strategies.
These include: “hacking state election systems; infiltrating and leaking information from party committees and political strategists; and disseminating through social media and other outlets negative stories about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and positive ones about Mr. Trump,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, citing the report.
The mobilization of a grand jury suggests that there is more evidence than that surrounding Michael Flynn, who was investigated by a separate grand jury earlier this year. With a grand jury in place, Mueller will have the power to subpoena documents, swear in witnesses to obtain testimony, and seek indictments, should any illegal practices come to the surface.
“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.”
One of the main purposes of the grand jury would be to determine if anyone in the Trump presidential campaign had colluded with the Russians, and the elephant in the room asks the question, did Trump himself have anything to do with it, if indeed it was determined collusion with the Russians had occurred?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Russia denies that any interference with the election had occurred. Trump vigorously denies it as well, having gone as far as calling the inquiry a “witch hunt.”
A special counsel to President Trump has said that “the White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly…. The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”
The first act in Mueller's grand jury was to subpoena documents surrounding Donald Trump Jr. and his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, according to Reuters.
What do you think of this? Find out more about the Russia-2016 campaign conspiracy by reading what a Democrat congresswoman and conservatives have said concerning it.