Special counsel Robert Mueller's grand jury raises stakes in Russian Federation investigation

Saul Bowman
August 5, 2017

At a rally Thursday night in West Virginia, he told a cheering crowd that the allegation about collusion with Russian Federation is a "total fabrication" and that it's being pushed by Democrats angered by their loss in the November election.

Clapper also expressed outrage that transcripts of Trump's phone calls with Mexico's President and Australia's Prime Minister were leaked.

Mueller empaneled a grand jury Thursday in Washington, D.C., a move that will likely accelerate the conclusion of the Russian Federation investigation.

We may be a long way from that, and, as in the Clinton e-mail case, they might not come at all.

After hearing witness testimonies in secret, grand juries decide whether or not to officially accuse a criminal defendant and force that person to stand trial.

But he said it would be "very dangerous" if this led to Trump firing or attempting to fire Mueller, warning that "I think this would create a real constitutional crisis".

"You fire Bob Mueller who's one of the most admired people I know, you fire him, and you'll create a firestorm here", said Sen.

Ty Cobb, whom Trump appointed as White House special counsel, said of the grand jury: "This is news to me, but it's welcome news to the extent it suggests that it may accelerate the resolution of Mr. Mueller's work".

Also, getting lost once again in the "Russia" panic, as we explained on yesterday's show, there is a good reason Bernie Sanders voted against the bill slapping sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran, as approved nearly unanimously in both chambers of Congress, and signed reluctantly by the President on Wednesday. "In short order, probably people who are in the administration or former members of the administration or former members of the campaign will be getting subpoenas to testify and provide documents", he said. Witnesses have to leave the court to consult with lawyers sitting outside and grand juries are characterised by the time-consuming act of witnesses going in and out.

At a boisterous campaign rally in Trump-friendly West Virginia, Trump slammed the investigation as a "fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most of all demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution". But it is a laughable distraction that will dissuade neither Mueller's team, nor the American people. Concerns that Mr Trump wants to replace Mr Mueller prompted bipartisan efforts in the Senate to sponsor legislation "allowing judicial review" if a special counsel is removed.

Why are grand juries feared? "The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mueller". "It can't be used for a fishing expedition", Matt Olsen, a former federal prosecutor, said. They're hanging on to one cause for optimism: the appointment of John Kelly as White House chief of staff, which several GOP senators said they hope will calm the chaos on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. As witnesses begin to appear and the media coverage intensifies, he will undoubtedly lash out more harshly, the way he did last night in West Virginia.

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