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RUSSIAN TO CONCLUSIONS: Mueller Impanels Grand Jury

The Wall Street Journal broke the story, CNN is reporting that the investigation has expanded to possible financial crimes, while Reuters reported that subpoenas are out.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections,” and connections to Donald Trump and his associates.

According to the report, the grand jury has already been hard at work:

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort.

Other news outlets have been piecing together details from their sources.

CNN reported that sources had told them the investigation was delving into the financial ties of Trump and his associates:

Trump had previously warned Mueller not to delve into his financials, calling it a “red line” in an interview with The New York Times.

Meanwhile Reuters reported that the Mueller grand jury has issued subpoenas related to the Donald Trump, Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in June 2016.

Trump has mused about firing Mueller in recent weeks, and these new reports may only intensify those urges.

Meanwhile, bipartisan lawmakers are rushing to shield the special counsel from any presidential influence, as Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced legislation to require judicial approval for any attempt to fire a special counsel.