Jay Sekulow, a member of President Donald Trump’s outside legal team, on Thursday said he was not surprised by a report that the special counsel overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has convened a grand jury.
Sekulow said on Fox News that he did not get advance notice of the jury’s empanelment.
“But this is not a surprise, because the the empaneling of a grand jury in situations like this, when you’ve got an investigation, is typically how they move forward,” he said. “It is really very much standard operating procedure.”
The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported Thursday afternoon that special counsel Robert Mueller recently convened a grand jury as part of the federal probe into Russian meddling in the election. Reuters also reported that grand jury subpoenas were issued in connection with a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., the President’s eldest son, and a Russian lawyer (others, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting).
Asked about the subpoenas, Sekulow said, “I’m hearing what you’re hearing. So again, you know, grand juries are supposed to be secret proceedings, evidently, you know, not so secret right now.”
He said the empanelment of a grand jury is “standard prosecutorial approach to this and frankly not unusual in that regard.”
“With respect to the impaneling of the grand jury, we have no reason to believe that the President is under investigation here,” Sekulow said. “This is not a surprise to us. The fact that we didn’t get advance notice is not unusual either.”
Asked whether Mueller’s empanelment of a jury would change the likelihood of President Donald Trump firing the special counsel, Sekulow said Trump “is not thinking about” firing Mueller.
“So this speculation that’s out there is just incorrect,” he said.