Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in conjunction with his investigation of the Trump administration’s alleged connections to Russia during the campaign.
That sounds like he has found evidence and is preparing indictments. But the Washington Post article on the subject, linked after the jump. says that’s not necessarily so. In a federal case, according to the explanation, a grand jury does not mean indictments are forthcoming. Rather, it is a tool to force witnesses to testify and to turn over documents.
But still, it could issue indictments.From Special Counsel Mueller using grand jury in federal court in Washington as part of Russia investigation – The Washington Post:
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III began using a grand jury in federal court in Washington several weeks ago as part of his investigation of possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.
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.In recent weeks and months, Mueller has been expanding the legal team working on the matter, and recently added Greg Andres, a longtime white-collar lawyer specializing in foreign bribery who previously worked in the Justice Department’s criminal division.
Mueller’s investigation now includes a look at whether President Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James B. Comey, as well as deep dives into financial and other dealings of former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Federal prosecutors had previously been using a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, and even before Mueller was appointed, had increased their activity, issuing subpoenas and taking other investigative steps. . . .
In federal cases, a grand jury is not necessarily an indication that an indictment is imminent or even likely. Instead, it is a powerful investigative tool that prosecutors use to compel witnesses to testify or force people or companies to turn over documents.
Also read this, which observes that having a grand jury indicates that Mueller is no longer conducting a counterintelligence investigation but a criminal investigation.
Illustration by Nick Youngson, Picserver, Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0,