Judge Extends Term for Grand Jury Hearing Evidence From Mueller

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Washington has extended the term of a grand jury hearing evidence uncovered by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race and the Trump campaign.

The jurors, impaneled in July 2017, will continue to meet for up to six months. Beryl A. Howell, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in Washington, approved the extension ahead of the scheduled expiration of the grand jury’s term this week.

The extension underscores that Mr. Mueller’s team continues to pursue leads about Russia’s covert effort to influence the results of the 2016 election, and whether anyone in the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow to help Donald J. Trump triumph over Hillary Clinton.

The prosecutors working for Mr. Mueller are believed to be writing a report for senior Justice Department officials summarizing their findings, but it is unclear how detailed it will be or how or whether it will be made public, including whether the White House could interfere with its release. Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN on Friday, “We will make sure it is public.”

Asked whether the evidence so far warrants a congressional effort to impeach Mr. Trump, Mr. Nadler replied, “No, not yet.” He added, “We have to see what the Mueller report says.”

Mr. Nadler’s committee plans to speedily seek to question Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general who is now overseeing Mr. Mueller, about whether the special counsel’s inquiry will be free of political interference. The president’s critics fear that he installed Mr. Whitaker in the post to tie prosecutors’ hands.

A grand jury’s term typically is limited to 18 months, but it can be extended for up to six months if the court determines that it would serve the public interest.

Since Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, the special counsel’s team has secured criminal convictions of a string of former aides to President Trump, including his former campaign chairman, former deputy campaign chairman and former national security adviser. Prosecutors have also turned over evidence to United States attorneys in and around Washington and New York, resulting in still more criminal cases.

Last month, Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former longtime fixer and lawyer, was sentenced to three years in prison in part for lying to Congress about a lucrative hotel deal in Moscow that the Trump Organization pursued while Mr. Trump was running for president. Mr. Cohen also admitted that at Mr. Trump’s direction, he organized hush-money payments to two women whose allegations of extramarital affairs with Mr. Trump might have derailed his presidential campaign.

And later in December, the sentencing of the president’s first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, on his conviction for lying to investigators was postponed after a dramatic court hearing in which a federal judge implied he would sentence Mr. Flynn to prison, expressing “disgust” about his crimes.

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