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Russia Investigation: Mueller’s First Move

This Friday ended with some major breaking news. CNN first reported that a federal grand jury has approved the first criminal charges regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Susan Walsh / AP file

Susan Walsh / AP file

“Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday,” CNN’s sources said. It is unclear what the charges are, and Mueller’s team has yet to disclose any further details regarding the charges. This will be Mueller and his team’s first significant move since the launch of the Special Council back in May.

The former FBI Director was appointed by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to serve as Special Counsel after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May. Rosenstein made the decision to appoint Mueller because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any federal probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) has noted that “by having somebody like [Robert] Mueller head the investigation assures the American people that there is no undue influence.” Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also praised the Special Counsel. He said, “Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job.”

Mueller is no stranger to high-profile investigations. He served as the Director of the FBI from 2004-2013 (he was appointed by President George W. Bush and his original ten-year term was given a two-year extension by President Barack Obama) and as acting deputy attorney general.

Emilie Sommer/AFP/Getty Images

Emilie Sommer/AFP/Getty Images

Mueller and his team of 17 investigators have been looking at a wide spectrum of issues since May, including topics such as “the hacking and leaks of prominent Democrats’ emails, the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. set up with a Russian lawyer, whether the campaign was involved in russian efforts to spread fake news targeted at voters in key states, and Russian efforts to hack election-related computer systems,” according to Vox.

Monday’s expected announcement will certainly be a game changer, as details regarding possible interference in the 2016 election may finally come out -- and this information will be guided not by TV newscasts and Twitter wars, but by written indictments and federal evidence.