CNN is reporting that federal District Judge Beryl Howell has agreed to extend the grand jury that hears cases related to the special counsel’s office by another six months. The term for the jury was initially set at 18 months when the jurors were first seated in July 2017. With that time running out, Robert Mueller asked for, and was given, an extension of the jury’s term.
Federal guidelines state that a judge is expected to extend a jury’s term when it is in the “public interest,” and completing the Trump–Russia investigation would clearly seem to fit that definition. The identities of the members of the grand jury will continue to be a closely held secret.
Earlier today, CNN reporters indicated that Mueller had requested that actions related to Russia-based Concord Management, which was involved with placement of Russian social media postings during the 2016 campaign, remain under seal to protect a matter still “occurring before the grand jury.” That this case is still being heard is a good indicator that there are additional charges or indictments coming from this issue. It’s unlikely that this is the only mater the grand jury is still dealing with, as recent court documents related to Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen all contained significant redactions related to open matters.
And once again, sources that keep planting the idea that Mueller is about to “wrap things up” or deliver his report “any day” will have to keep on planting those stories.