Court extends Mueller grand jury

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 StoneJudge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media Counterprotesters outnumber far-right extremists at DC rally Judge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order 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 ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller 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 TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade 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.