The severity of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia leaped ahead on Thursday with the impaneling of a grand jury. However, those familiar with the investigation should know this isn’t the first grand jury his team has undertaken. That’s because a June report suggested they were involved in a Virginia grand jury’s probe of Michael Flynn’s business dealings with Turkey. On Friday, the magnitude of Mueller’s participation increased with a New York Times story indicating they had requested any and all documents the White House may possess on Flynn.
According to the Times, Mueller’s team has “asked the White House for documents” regarding Flynn’s brief tenure there. They have also “questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign,” which is the primary subject of the aforementioned grand jury in Virginia. Nearly a month after resigning as National Security Adviser, Flynn registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent and promptly admitted to accepting money for his lobbying work on behalf of the Turkish government.
Since Flynn’s payment acceptance occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign, during which he advised Trump, both the grand jury and Mueller’s probe are trying to discern whether or not it was illegal. And while the special prosecutor’s request for documents from the White House didn’t come in the form of a formal subpoena, it’s “first known instance” of Mueller requesting any records whatsoever from the Trump administration. The Times reports that the inclusion of any and all details financial records suggests the investigation has expanded beyond simply trying to fault Flynn for not registering as a foreign agent.
(Via New York Times)