US special counsel Mueller moves Russia probe forward: media

13 Août, 2017, 02:13 | Auteur: Lynn Cook
  • Trump says ties with Russia at 'all-time low,' blames Congress

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday - an important step toward potential criminal charges.

"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", Vladeck told the Wall Street Journal. And it says that they are nearing that step to do such a thing.

A spokesman for Mueller's team did not return an email seeking comment.

Reuters news agency, citing sources, reported that grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with a June 2016 meeting between President Donald Trump's son and a Russia lawyer.

"The use of the grand jury neither escalates, nor establishes a timeline for, the investigation", he added.

Trump has publicly warned Mueller that his financial dealings should be out of bounds and investigating them would cross a red line. A grand jury is a very powerful investigative tool that permits prosecutors to issue subpoenas for records, compel the turning over of such records and to take testimony from witnesses under oath. He is the White House counsel for the president - special counsel for the president.

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he had no knowledge of a grand jury, and that these matters are usually kept secret. Members of the president's legal team met with Mueller three weeks ago to express their desire to work with his investigators.

It was not clear what witnesses might appear before the grand jury or what evidence it might be accumulating or presented with.

Prior to Mueller's appointment as special counsel, federal prosecutors used at least one grand jury, located in Alexandria, Virginia, to assist in their criminal investigation of Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his work in the private sector on behalf of foreign interests.

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"In addition, even as the economy grows, both policy interest rates and long-term interest rates remain low because inflation remains tame due to various structural reasons", he added.

The development is a sign that investigators continue to aggressively gather evidence in the case, and that Mueller is taking full control of a probe that predated him. Mueller also worked as a prosecutor in Washington before becoming FBI director, a job he held for 12 years.

The European Central Bank, which is buying 60 billion euro ($71 billion) bonds per month to shore up euro zone economies, is expected to unveil a plan to wind down the asset purchase program in coming months.

The move is a sign that the sweeping federal investigation - which includes allegations that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to tilt the election in the Republican's favor - is gathering pace.

Twelve attorneys from the Justice Department and FBI are working with the special counsel's office, and three are from Mueller's firm, WilmerHale.

A January report from the U.S. intelligence community claims the Russian government influenced the 2016 election by hacking state election systems, leaking information from the Democratic National Committee and propagating negative stories about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

According to a recent Bloomberg News national poll, only 6 percent of respondents state that U.S. relations with Russia were the top priority.

WILBER: Yeah, you know, that broke yesterday.