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White House as crime scene: how Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump

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WH as crime scene: closing in on TrumpThe legal net around Donald Trump’s beleaguered presidency tightened dramatically this week with news that a grand jury has been established a few hundred yards from the White House, to pursue evidence of collusion with the Kremlin.

It is a troubling development for the president, for several reasons. In the US legal system, a grand jury has broad powers to issue subpoenas, and ultimately indictments, at the request of prosecutors.

The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election, former FBI chief Robert Mueller, had been using a sitting grand jury in Virginia to authorise his team’s demands for documents and witnesses.

The convening of a separate grand jury in Washington suggests the Mueller team – working in a suite of offices a few blocks’ walk from where the 20-odd jurors sit – is going to be making extensive use of it. It will not be hospitable terrain for the president. Trump won only 4% of the vote in the District of Columbia.

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