Mueller’s grand jury resembles a Bernie Sanders or Black Lives Matter rally
The 20-member grand jury convened by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation of the Trump administration for possible collusion with the Russians appears to be a classic kangaroo court. According to an unnamed witness who testified before the secret panel, "[t]he grand jury room looks like a Bernie Sanders rally. Maybe they found these jurors in central casting, or at a Black Lives Matter rally in Berkeley[, Calif.]"
The story was reported worldwide in the Daily Mail on January 2 after initially being published earlier the same day in an article by Richard Johnson on Page Six of the New York Post. According to the witness who was interviewed by Johnson, eleven of the 20 jurors are black Americans, and two of the jurors wore "peace" t-shirts. "There was only one white male in the room, and he was a prosecutor," the witness said.
The Mueller grand jury is known to have indicted two individuals, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who worked for a time in 2016 on behalf of the Trump campaign and were charged with crimes later in 2017. The two were alleged to have broken financial laws unrelated to and predating their association with the Trump campaign. Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty.
Two other individuals associated with the Trump campaign were also presumably indicted by Mueller's grand jury. Last month, each one subsequently entered into a plea deal for a lighter sentence in exchange for cooperation with investigators. The two are former gen. Michael Flynn, an adviser to the Trump campaign and transition who held the post of national security adviser to President Trump for 24 days before he was forced to resign, and George Papadopoulos, a low-level volunteer for the campaign. Both men pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Robert S. Mueller III's official portrait near the end of his term as FBI director (2001-2013).
After a year of government investigations, conducted by Mueller and his team of FBI agents and Democrat prosecuting attorneys and several congressional committees, into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, there have been no leaks from the investigations confirming that any examples of illegal collusion actually exist. There have also been no confirmed reports of Trump-Russia collusion by the media, which have doggedly been pursuing rumors of alleged collusion for over a year.
The New York Post's anonymous grand jury witness told the publication, "That [grand jury] room isn't a room where POTUS gets a fair shake." The Post author ended his story by citing a memorable quote about the grand jury system uttered by Solomon Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, described by Barry Popik at his blog Big Apple Corner:
Wachtler famously observed that prosecutors have so much control over grand juries that they could convince them to "indict a ham sandwich."
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture. For announcements and links to a wide selection of Peter's published work, follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.