US Special Counsel Mueller launches grand jury for Trump-Russia probe

World Today

New developments in the Donald Trump-Russia investigation as U.S. news reports said special counsel Robert Mueller has launched a grand jury for this probe.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference with the U.S. election — and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, which the president has called a ‘witch hunt.’

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.

Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed special counsel by the Justice Department in May less than four months into the Donald Trump presidency.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself over anything related to the Russia investigation looking at alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Mueller – an independent – was appointed to take over.

Fast-forward a few months, Mueller has been building his team – now, at least 16 lawyers working with him, and gathering evidence about possible collusion between members of the Trump tea, and Trump family, with Russia.

Mueller’s team is now reportedly sifting through documents connected to Trump’s business dealings including the Trump Tower in New York and the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, owned by Trump and held in Moscow.

Investigators are also looking at conversations intercepted between Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Russian operatives, who claimed to have information that would prove detrimental to Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.

Now, on Thursday, news that Mueller will impanel a grand jury to decide whether there should be any indictments.

At a campaign-style rally in West Virginia, the President echoed his mantra, that the investigation is nothing more than a witch-hunt.

“The reason why Democrats only talk about totally made-up Russia story, is because they have no message, no agenda, no vision.”

Subpoenas have already been issued over a June 2016 meeting between Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., a Russian attorney with ties to the Kremlin and several others.

The grand jury meets in secret, witnesses will be questioned under oath. Records of any testimony will remain private. But if there’s an indictment and the case goes to trial, everything said to the grand jury can be submitted – by either side – into public record.

A grand jury doesn’t necessarily mean an indictment. But no one can be indicted without one. And, at least two lawmakers have floated that idea that Congress – running its own investigations – could hire Mueller if the President fires him.

Bruce Fein discusses implications of Special Counsel Mueller impaneling a grand jury

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with constitutional lawyer, Bruce Fein about Special Counsel Mueller’s impaneling a grand jury and the ongoing Russia-Trump investigation.