In the wake of the recent indictment of Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has made another big move against several associates of Mr. Trump.
Over a dozen top Trump campaign officials have been subpoenaed as Robert Mueller executed new moves in his ongoing probe into Russian collusion. At the moment, the Trump campaign is voluntarily complying with the orders, according to CNBC.
The Wall Street Journal described the subpoena as the “first official order” for information from the campaign, and that the Trump administration was responding to Mueller’s order on an “ongoing” basis. Currently, none of the individuals who received subpoenas have been compelled to testify before a grand jury, but one source said that the campaign was surprised by the order after voluntarily cooperating with Mueller’s team for so long.
“Sending a subpoena to an entity that says it has been cooperating with document requests isn’t unusual in cases in which prosecutors have some concern that their demands aren’t being met promptly or aren’t being entirely fulfilled,” wrote the WSJ, citing former prosecutors.
Neither the White House nor a spokesperson for the Special Counsel’s office responded to requests for comments. It marks the first time members of the Trump campaign have been ordered to turn over information to the Special Counsel’s investigation. Paul Manafort had been previously subpoenaed by Mr. Mueller, alongside several banks to obtain his financial information.
In late October, Mr. Manafort was charged with various counts, including conspiracy against the United States as well as money laundering related to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. Other business associates of his are facing legal repercussions as well.
A second source, however, has said that the new subpoena is less drastic than one would first imagine, describing it as “bookkeeping” at the end of a grand jury process, calling the order “largely perfunctory” and that much of it will be “duplicative” of documents that Mr. Mueller obtained previously. Another source said that fulfilling the new request could take months due to a large amount of information requested, according to CNN.
The announcement of the subpoena came on the same day that top lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee pressed Senior White House Adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for information on the same topic. Bloomberg reports that both Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), wrote a letter to Mr. Kushner’s lawyer noting that he didn’t turn over certain documents first requested on Oct. 18, nor did Mr. Kushner agree to a transcribed interview.
The two Washington lawmakers gave Mr. Kushner a Nov. 27 deadline to provide the additional documents, including the emails as well as his security clearance form that initially omitted certain contacts with Russian officials.
“If, as you suggest, Mr. Kushner was unaware of, for example, any attempts at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, then presumably there would be few communications concerning many of the persons identified in our second request, and the corresponding burden of searching would be small,” the Senators wrote.
Robert Mueller has subpoenaed more Trump campaign officials. Is he grasping at straws to find anything to implicate President Trump colluded with Russia?
Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement that the White House advisor had been “responsive to all requests,” and that they were going to do everything in their power to respond to any additional request in the future.
As Mr. Mueller continues his investigation alongside separate hearings in Congress, the American people need to be kept in the loop as mainstream news outlets twist any new developments to suit their biased narrative.