Special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury gets six-month extension, signaling the Russia investigation isn’t ending anytime soon

Robert Mueller.

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Robert Mueller.
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Aaron Bernstein/Reuters

  • Special counsel Robert Mueller’s federal grand jury on Friday received a six-month extension from Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court, CNN reported.
  • The 23-person grand jury had been tapped for an 18-month term in July 2017 and was on the verge of expiring.
  • A court can extend a grand jury’s term beyond 18 months if it’s determined that doing so is “in the public interest,” according to federal rules.
  • This decision suggests the Russia probe is not ending anytime soon.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s federal grand jury on Friday received a six-month extension from Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court, CNN reported.

The Washington, DC-based grand jury is in charge of approving criminal indictments in relation to the investigation Mueller is leading into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion.

Read more: Mueller’s office may have dropped a hint about the mystery grand-jury subpoena case that has Washington enthralled

The 23-person grand jury had been tapped for an 18-month term in July 2017 and was on the verge of expiring.

In recent weeks there’s been widespread speculation that Mueller’s investigation was wrapping up, but Howell’s decision gives the grand jury more time and seems to signal that the Russia probe isn’t ending anytime soon.

A court can extend a grand jury’s term beyond 18 months if it’s determined that doing so is “in the public interest,” according to federal rules.

Read more: Washington is buzzing about a mysterious grand-jury fight between Mueller’s office and an unknown witness

Without Friday’s decision, the grand jury would’ve expired on Sunday.

Mueller’s team has been keeping busy even as much of the country has been distracted by an ongoing government shutdown. As INSIDER’s Sonam Sheth reported on Thursday:

  • Prosecutors working for the special counsel Robert Mueller indicated Thursday that their case against several Russian entities accused of carrying out a social-media disinformation scheme to interfere in the 2016 election is tied to an ongoing “matter occurring before the grand jury.”
  • The revelation prompted fervent observers of the Russia probe to say that prosecutors may be referring to a separate and secret legal battle between Mueller and an unknown foreign company fighting a grand-jury subpoena.
  • The subpoena case has been shrouded in mystery since last summer, and the Supreme Court is weighing whether to force the unidentified company to pay fines that were imposed on it by a lower court for refusing to comply with Mueller’s subpoena.