This is how a grand jury helps the Trump-Russia investigation

A report says Robert Mueller has set up a grand jury, meaning the Russia investigation is heating up.

LARGO — President Donald Trump is spending one more night in D.C. before he takes what the White House is calling a 17-day “working vacation.”

He made a stop in West Virginia Thursday for a rally.

The president didn't shy away from a new development about the investigation into Russia's influence on the election.

“The Russia story is a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics, that's all it is,” Trump said.

Just before the rally, The Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, has impaneled a grand jury in Washington.

This is a big moment in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Back in February, Michael Flynn was forced to resign for lying about his connections to Russia.

In March, Jeff Sessions recused himself because of his connections to Russia.

In May, Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was heading the Russia investigation. Weeks later, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was named, and he delivered a game changer after months of investigation by setting up the grand jury.

Now this doesn't mean President Trump or his associates are guilty of anything ... yet.

But it does give Mueller a heck of a lot more power to do his job as prosecutor.

“It helps him in the sense that he can use that to investigate crimes,” said Tampa Bay defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand. “He can subpoena witnesses, he can subpoena documents and records, so it assists him in basically bringing in people who otherwise might not be thrilled to be talking to him.”

Remember, Mueller is looking into whether the Trump campaign worked with Russia to win the election, but the investigation can uncover other illegal activity and may be looking into Trump associates’ financial irregularities right now.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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