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Screenshot/CBS News

Welp:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to people familiar with the matter.

Quite a lot of effort being expended on this worthless witch hunt!

The story makes clear three important points.

One, this investigation is only just ramping up. So while Trump lawyer Ty Cobb may say, “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly,” nothing about this is likely to be quick. The wheels of justice grind slowly and all that, and there is a lot here to dig through. If there wasn't, there would be no grand jury.

Two, Mueller continues assembling a large team of top-of-the-line lawyers to prosecute this case:

Another sign the investigation is ramping up: Greg Andres, a top partner in a powerhouse New York law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, has joined Mr. Mueller’s team.

Mr. Andres, a former top Justice Department official who also oversaw the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, wouldn’t leave his private-sector job for a low-level investigation, Mr. Zeno said.

“People like Greg Andres don’t leave private practice willy-nilly,” Mr. Zeno said. “The fact he is being added after couple of months shows how serious this is and that it could last a long time.”

And the third point is that Congress is taking very seriously Trump's recent threats to fire Mueller if the president thinks the investigation is going into areas he would not like it to go:

Sens. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) and Chris Coons (D., Del.) introduced legislation Thursday making it harder for Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller. Under the legislation, a special counsel could challenge his or her removal, with a three-judge panel ruling within 14 days on whether the firing was justified.

If the panel found no good cause for the firing, the special counsel would immediately be reinstated. The legislation follows a similar effort from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.)

“The introduction of two bills with two different bipartisan pairs strengthens the message that there is broad concern about this,” said Mr. Coons, who said that Mr. Tillis approached him on the Senate floor about teaming up on legislation.

And the cherry on top of this giant criminal sundae comes from Reuters just after the Wall Street Journal story broke:

Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer and others, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Members of Congress had all sorts of reactions on Twitter, but this seems the most accurate:

Oh, it's billowing, all right. Like it's the summer of 1910 and Washington, D.C., is the Northern Rockies.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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