Hot off the presses from the Wall Street Journal comes news that special investigator Robert Mueller has impaneled a Washington grand jury in the ongoing probe into collusion between the Trump administration and Russian Federation.
The measure would spell out who can fire a special counsel and make them retroactive to this year's appointment of Robert Mueller. A lawyer for Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, said he "has nothing to add".
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted that on three different occasions, former FBI Director James Comey said the president was not under investigation and "we have no reason to believe that has changed". Essentially: Mueller is putting together a grand jury, which means the investigation is entering a new, more intense phase, and that could spell trouble for the president.
It is a powerful tool prosecutors can use to seek indictments and subpoenas, and may be a signal Mueller's work is far from over.
He said the empanelment of a grand jury is "standard prosecutorial approach to this and frankly not unusual in that regard".
It's a group of ordinary citizens who, working behind closed doors, considers evidence and potential criminal wrongdoing that a prosecutor is investigating.
Trump ignored shouted questions about Mueller as he departed the White House on Thursday afternoon.
Trump has slammed the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt", and his aides and advisers insist it is much ado about nothing, despite reports that often suggest otherwise.
According to a memo written by ousted FBI Director James Comey-who Trump fired to relieve "pressure" from the Russian Federation investigation-the president had asked Comey to end the department's investigation into Flynn. What remains unknown is if they did that independently, or if they coordinated with the Trump campaign. Some of the ties reportedly being scrutinized are unconnected to the 2016 election.
Reports indicate the younger Trump jumped at the idea of a meeting when the the lawyer told him, through an intermediary, that she had incriminating evidence against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that investigators are looking at possible financial crimes as they examine Trump and his associates' monetary ties to Russian Federation.