Mueller Probe EXTENDED
By law, most federal grand juries are impaneled for 18-month terms, although extensions for up to six months are routinely granted. The key grand jury used by Mueller came into existence on July 5, 2017, and would have run out Saturday without action from the court.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell approved the extension of the investigative panel, although there was no comment by the court on why. “The chief judge confirms that grand jury 17-1 has been extended,” an aide to Howell said Friday.
The grand jury bearing that number is known to have produced several indictments related to the Mueller probe, including charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates. The same panel has also returned indictments against 25 Russians and three Russian companies over alleged hacking and online activity related to the 2016 U.S presidential election.
The extension of the grand jury suggests that Mueller may plan further indictments, but there were already several other indications of that. Two political supporters of President Donald Trump — political operative Roger Stone and author Jerome Corsi — have said that they have been threatened with indictment by Mueller’s prosecutors.
Mueller has the authority to prosecute any crimes uncovered in his investigation into the 2016 election.
Friday's extension contradicts recent reports that Mueller's investigation could wrap up soon.