Friday, August 4, 2017

You’ve Been Served

Via the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential election, has issued subpoenas from a Washington-based grand jury in recent weeks, according to several lawyers involved in the case.

At least some of the subpoenas were for documents related to the business dealings of Michael T. Flynn, the retired general who briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser. Mr. Flynn is under investigation for foreign lobbying work, as well as for conversations he had during the transition with Sergey I. Kislyak, who was Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Mueller’s team is broadly investigating whether any Trump associates colluded with the Russian government in its attempts to disrupt the election. It is unclear whether the subpoenas issued in recent weeks relate to other members of Mr. Trump’s campaign who have been a focus of the Mueller investigation, including Paul J. Manafort, the former campaign chairman.

A grand jury based in Alexandria, Va., began issuing subpoenas in the Flynn case months ago. Mr. Mueller took over the investigation in May and assembled a team of prosecutors in an office in downtown Washington. Mr. Mueller has not impaneled a special grand jury, the lawyers involved in the case said, and has decided instead to use one of several grand juries that regularly sit in Washington.

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said that he was not aware that Mr. Mueller had started using a new grand jury. “Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Mr. Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.”

He added, “The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

The Trump minions think this is great news because they think it means that Mueller is floundering and desperate to dig up anything to nail their hero.  After all, a grand jury under the thrall of a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, right?  Funny how those same people thought that Bill Clinton was toast when Ken Starr convened a grand jury and were dancing on his grave when he actually had to testify.

The thing about grand juries is that they don’t go away.  They can look at anything.  Charlie Pierce:

If Mueller wants to look at how the Trump Organization did its business with Russian interests before the president* even thought of being president, he can do that. If he wants to conduct exploratory surgery on Jared Kushner’s financial records, he can do that, too. If he wants to examine the working conditions in the Chinese factories where Ivanka’s line of shoes are made, it’s off to Asia we go. Meanwhile, congresscritters on both sides of the aisle are pushing legislation aimed at protecting Mueller from presidential retribution. In other words, as Blackstone once put it, shit’s getting really real.

As Bill Clinton found out, what started out as an investigation into a shady land deal in Arkansas ended up in his lap and a blue dress.

One bark on “You’ve Been Served

  1. Trumpists in the White House assure us that Mueller isn’t investigating the President. What on earth would make them think that?

    So on to a subpoena for the tax returns at last.

Speak!