Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. According to an Axios report published Thursday, the move suggests that Mueller's investigation has progressed to the stage in which he will need to subpoena witnesses or documents and perhaps pursue indictments—all of which require grand juries.
High-ranking members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation could be among those subpoenaed by Mueller. Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told several agency officials, including former director James Comey's chief of staff, the general counsel of the FBI, the agency's associate director, and the head of the FBI's National Security Branch, that they could be called upon as witnesses in any investigation into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, Vox reported Thursday morning.
These obstruction inquiries fall under Mueller's purview given that the president allegedly pressured Comey into shutting down the FBI's investigation of Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has contested Comey's testimony, and denies that he ever asked the former FBI director to drop the Flynn investigation.
But the testimony of other FBI officials could strengthen Comey's version of events. "This has never been the word of Trump against what [Comey] has had to say," one senior law enforcement official told Vox. "This is more like the Federal Bureau of Investigation versus Donald Trump."