ISSUE BRIEF: The Russia Investigation: What Happens to the Grand Jury if Mueller Is Fired?
On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to serve as Special Counsel and to conduct an investigation into possible links and coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” and any federal crimes committed with the intent to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as obstruction of justice.
As part of that investigation, Special Counsel Mueller asked a federal judge to impanel a grand jury, and over the last year that grand jury has approved indictments of multiple individuals associated with the Trump campaign or the Russian government. In recent months, news reports have suggested that President Trump has considered, or is considering, firing Special Counsel Mueller or those overseeing him, or otherwise attempting to derail Mueller’s investigation. This Issue Brief explores what the grand jury impaneled as part of that investigation might be able to do—and what it could not do—were Mueller to be fired.