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Evening Briefing: Bob Mueller Impanels a Grand Jury in Russian Probe, Issues Subpoenas

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2017 |

The Skinny: Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller has enlisted a grand jury in the investigation against the Trump Administration and possible collusion with the Russians, the next phase in what has become a widening probe. A grand jury will allow Mueller to subpoena documents and witnesses, as well as hand down indictments.

Among those subpoenas are ones for Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner for their role in last year’s June 19th meeting with a Kremlin-associated Russian lawyer and a former Soviet counterintelligence agent.

The widening probe reportedly includes an investigation into Donald Trump’s finances and potentially financial crimes. A former intelligence agent expects “more shoes to drop” with regard to that meeting. This could potentially provoke Donald Trump to attempt to fire Mueller for expanding his scope beyond immediate collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Particular focus will be on Paul Manafort, as investigators reportedly intercepted communications between Russian operatives discussing their efforts to work with Manafort and damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. These operatives relayed conversations they reportedly had with Manafort.

That sounds like a smoking gun, folks.

Trump’s lawyer says that there’s no reason to believe that Trump himself is personally under investigation, because Trump’s lawyer apparently does not read the news.

Two unrelated bits of news: 1) West Virginia’s governor is expected to switch parties from Democrat to Republican during Donald Trump’s rally tonight. 2) Unbelievably, the Secret Service has vacated their post inside of Trump Tower because of a lease dispute with … you guessed it, Trump Organization. Trump’s company was playing hardball with the very people hired to protect him.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.