The first charges approved under a federal grand jury were authorized on Friday, according to CNN. The ongoing investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller has been looking into several charges involving collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election between the campaign of now-president Donald Trump and various individuals with ties to the Kremlin.
The charges are unknown at the moment, and will remain sealed until after arrests have been made throughout the weekend. The special counsel’s office is declining comment at this time. From CNN:
Under the regulations governing special counsel investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight over the Russia investigation, would have been made aware of any charges before they were taken before the grand jury for approval, according to people familiar with the matter.
While the investigation has concentrated mainly on the Trump-Russia collusion, other charges may result from obstruction of justice when Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey to try to stop the investigation into the collusion charges.
Reporters following the case noticed a rush of activity at the courthouse today, observing numerous members of Mueller’s legal team entering the courtroom in the DC federal court that was used for the grand jury proceedings. According to the original orders from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Mueller has authorization to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
CNN has reported that the Mueller team has been scrutinizing Trump and his associates for financial ties and lobbying activities of campaign staff. Several subpoenas have requested documents related to the case and testimony from many individuals has been collected.
Much focus has been on former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who seems to have more ties to the Kremlin that any non-Russian citizen should, including loans totaling $60 million from Russia-affiliated banks. A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant was issued to allow monitoring of Manafort’s and former campaign adviser Carter Page’s communications while Comey was still in charge.
Additionally, there are three congressional committees conducting investigations into these matters.
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