Mueller's Grand Jury Is Significant
The Russian election interference investigation has now become a criminal investigation.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, a significant move in his investigation into Russia’s election interference. As Andrew McCarthy of National Review writes, “The most significant conclusion we can draw … is that the so-called Russia investigation, officially, is a criminal investigation.” So, what does and doesn’t this mean? Well, McCarthy explains, “That makes it categorically different from a counterintelligence investigation,” which is how Mueller’s probe began.
Impaneling a grand jury doesn’t necessarily mean that a crime has been committed, nor does it mean that the filing of criminal charges is imminent. It does, however, imply that the investigation is growing in both scope and scale, and it indicates that Mueller has determined there is enough cause to warrant access to subpoena powers afforded by a grand jury. As The Wall Street Journal describes it, “Grand juries are investigative tools that allow prosecutors to subpoena documents, put witnesses under oath and seek indictments, if there is evidence of a crime. Legal experts said Mr. Mueller’s decision suggests he believes he will need to subpoena records and take testimony from witnesses.”
The public knows neither which individual or individuals are the target(s) of this now-criminal investigation, nor the alleged crime – at least until Mueller’s staff leak that to the press. However, none of this bodes well for Donald Trump. As we’ve noted before, the fact that at least eight members of Mueller’s investigators have contributed to the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which certainly give the appearance that this is anything but an anti-Trump crusade. As Washington insider Gary Bauer notes, “Half of the lawyers on Mueller’s team are Democrat donors. His grand jury sits in Washington, D.C., a city that voted 91% for Hillary Clinton on Election Day. This is the jury that is now going to sit in judgment of President Trump and his family.”