Grand Jury Subpoenas Issued in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe
Accusations of Russian US election hacking and allegations of possible improper or illegal Trump team connections to Russia were fabricated by John Brennan as CIA director – the plot against Trump continuing under Mike Pompeo.
A grand jury empaneled by Mueller issued subpoenas as part of his investigation into Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya – a private citizen unconnected to the Kremlin.
The meeting amounted to much ado about nothing. Yet it became a cause celebre to denigrate and weaken Trump for the wrong reasons.
No evidence suggests any improper or illegal dealings with Russia by Trump, his family members, or team.
Published emails between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya showed they had nothing to do with Russia. Issues discussed related to adoption of children and related charitable activities.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian government knows nothing about Veselnitskaya. President Trump is correct, calling ongoing Mueller, FBI and congressional investigations “a witch-hunt.”
Grand juries reflect deep-rooted Anglo-American tradition. The process originally served to protect accused defendants from overly-zealous prosecutors.
Though nominally independent, they only hear cases prosecutors choose. They’re lawyers like Mueller, involved in investigating, charging and taking people to trial for alleged offenses.
According to former prosecutor Paul Callan, impaneling a grand jury “is a serious development in the Mueller investigation.”
“Given the (he) inherited an investigation that began months ago, it would suggest that he has uncovered information pointing in the direction of criminal charges. But against whom is the real question.”
Law Professor Stephen Vladeck believes involvement of a grand jury suggests “prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by” Mueller.
Grand jurors can select witnesses. They can exclude ones they wish exempted, grant discretionary immunity and ask questions after witnesses testify.
Their job is to judge what prosecutors present, deciding whether enough evidence warrants indictments or exonerations.
Proceedings are conducted secretly. No one may disclose what goes on unless judicially ordered or permitted.
Anyone may be subpoenaed, and must answer questions unless a specific privilege is claimed such as lawyer/client confidentiality or self-incrimination.
Lawyers can’t represent their clients while testifying. Double jeopardy doesn’t apply to grand juries.
If prosecutors fail to get indictments, they need Criminal Division Attorney General permission to try again. Targets remain vulnerable. As long as he remains special council, Mueller can pursue Trump, his family and team members until kingdom come if he and dark forces backing him wish.
Zealous prosecutors can charge defendants on rejected charges or new ones, endless harassment if proceedings go on long enough. In Mueller’s case, it can be months, years or in perpetuity as long as he remains on the job.
The ABA asks “(w)hat protection does a target have against witnesses lying to the grand jury (perhaps for leniency on existing or threatened charges), or against the use of unconstitutionally obtained evidence? None.”
Law Professor Mark Kadish earlier explained “grand jur(ies) (give) prosecutors extraordinary powers (providing) “incredible pretrial and trial advantages – especially where those powers are otherwise unavailable through authorized civil discovery tools.”
Notably post-9/11, prosecutors zealously sought grand jury indictments, manipulating proceedings to get them.
Is this what Mueller has in store for Trump, his family or team members? In the fullness of time we’ll know.