August 3, 2017 4:37 pm
Updated: August 4, 2017 11:35 am

Robert Mueller convenes grand jury to investigate Russian meddling in 2016 election

ABOVE: Special counsel Robert Muller has reportedly impaneled a grand jury to look into possible collusion as well as President Trump's financial dealings with Russia.


Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer and others, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The sources also said special counsel Robert Mueller had convened a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.

WATCH: President Trump says Democrats ‘obsessed’ with Russia probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury began its work in recent weeks and is a sign that Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s efforts to influence the election and whether it colluded with President Donald Trump’s campaign is ramping up, the Journal said.

Russia has loomed large over the first six months of the Trump presidency, with U.S. congressional panels also investigating the Russian election interference that U.S. intelligence agencies believe was meant to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.

Moscow denies any meddling and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign, while regularly denouncing the investigations as political witch hunts.

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Mueller’s use of a grand jury could give him expansive tools to pursue evidence, including issuing subpoenas and compelling witnesses to testify.

A grand jury is a group of ordinary citizens who, working behind closed doors, considers evidence and potential criminal wrongdoing that a prosecutor is investigating and decide on whether charges should be brought.

READ MORE: Trump signs bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, calls it ‘seriously flawed’

U.S. stocks and the dollar weakened following the news, while U.S. Treasury securities gained. The S&P 500 Index initially dropped about 0.20 percent and the dollar index , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of trading-partner currencies, slid 0.18 percent.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Mueller, who was appointed special counsel in May, brought a former U.S. Justice Department official to join his investigative team.

READ MORE: Donald Trump ‘weighed in’ on son’s Russia attorney statement, White House confirms

Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team.

© 2017 Reuters

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