On Friday a courtroom in Washington, D.C. was sealed off from the press, as dozens of reporters gathered there because of rumors they had heard on social media that Robert Mueller was bringing in a secret witness to testify in front of a grand jury.
And then something totally unexpected happened: courthouse officials forcefully removed members of the press from the entire fifth floor. They then sealed it with security guards so no one could enter.
This of course led to even more speculation on social media: who was Mueller’s mystery witness? And what was the subject matter of the secret grand jury testimony?
Even though reporters couldn’t get near the secret grand jury hearing, the New York Times did come up with its own theories concerning what had transpired in the courtroom.
According to its new report, the Times claims that the hearing was a battle over “whether a witness can be forced to answer investigators’ questions.”
According to the Times:
“When witnesses refuse to cooperate, prosecutors often go to court to get a judge to send them to jail in order to pressure them to talk. Prosecutors are supposed to exhaust all other investigative avenues before doing this.”
The Times then goes on to say that due to the high level of security and secrecy, it is very likely connected to Donald Trump, although it is not Trump himself who is the subject of the dispute. They also suggest that it is questionable whether the public will ever know who the mystery guest is, unless the person involved speaks publicly or is thrown into jail for non-cooperation.
The report says:
“Investigators have interviewed nearly all the White House and Justice Department officials who were directly involved in the episodes under scrutiny in the obstruction inquiry. But Mr. Mueller is still seeking to speak with several witnesses about ties between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia.”
POLITICO in October originally reported that Mueller’s team had been brought into court by a witness battling a subpoena. POLITICO also published an article by former federal prosecutor Nelson Cunningham who said that Trump himself was the person who had gotten a subpoena and was fighting Mueller.
With Bob Mueller releasing so little to the public, the press has a seemingly insatiable appetite for any little bit of information they can obtain about the special counsel proceedings. If there is truly a mystery witness, who is fighting a secret subpoena, that would be big news. It would offer significant clues about the direction of Mueller’s probe, and what legal actions he will take next.
For now there are no confirmed facts, just rumors and speculation. But as more information does come out we will bring you immediate updates right here at PoliticusUSA.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.