Court extends Mueller grand jury

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Washington-based grand jury has been granted an extension days before it was set to expire by the head judge on the federal district court for the District of Columbia.

Lisa Klem, special assistant to Chief Judge Beryl Howell, confirmed for The Hill that the grand jury has been extended and can continue to sit, but she did not provide any length of time for the extension.

CNN reported Friday that that the federal grand jury had been extended by six months, but Klem said the court has not confirmed an end date or length of extension, including to CNN.

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The special counsel's office declined to comment on the extension.

Sunday will mark 18 months since the federal grand jury was impaneled on July 6, 2017. Under the rules for federal criminal procedure, a federal grand jury can can only serve up to 18 months unless the court determines that an extension is in the public interest.

The rules, however, say an extension can't be granted for more than six months.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in early August 2017 that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in D.C. as he investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Multiple individuals are known to have testified before the grand jury as part of Mueller’s sprawling inquiry into Russian interference and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 vote. These include associates of longtime Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOverwhelming majority of voters want final Mueller report released: poll Trump seizes on poll that shows half agree Mueller investigation is a 'witch hunt' Judge sets Roger Stone trial for early November MORE and one-time Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg.

Since he was appointed special counsel in May 2017, Mueller has indicted more than two dozen Russians for meddling in the election using hacking and social media.

The special counsel has also secured guilty pleas from several Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMany Americans 'just don't care that much' about Trump investigations, says pollster Overwhelming majority of voters want final Mueller report released: poll Trump seizes on poll that shows half agree Mueller investigation is a 'witch hunt' MORE. Those who are cooperating in the investigation are likely to testify before the grand jury, though the proceedings are secret.

Mueller’s investigation has pressed on for more than 19 months amid attacks from President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: 'White supremacists pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group' National Enquirer paid 0,000 for Bezos texts: report Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE, who views the probe as a partisan “witch hunt” against him and has publicly called for its end.

Trump has long denied there was collusion between his campaign in Moscow, telling reporters Friday afternoon, “I didn’t need Russians to help me win Iowa” or Wisconsin.