First charges filed in US special counsel Robert Mueller's probe

Washington, Oct 28: A federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first charges in the investigation led by US special counsel Robert Mueller as part of a probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the media reported. The charges approved on Friday were still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, informed sources told CNN.  However, it was unclear what the charges were. Mueller was appointed in May to lead the investigation. Under the regulations governing special counsel investigations, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight over the Russia investigation, would have been made aware of any charges before they were taken before the grand jury for approval. On Friday, top lawyers who are helping to lead the Mueller probe, including veteran prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, were seen entering the court room at the Washington D.C. Federal Court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the Russia investigation. Shortly after President Donald Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel, CNN reported.  Mueller took the reins of a federal investigation that Comey first opened in July 2016 in the middle of the presidential campaign. The special counsel's investigation has focused on potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as obstruction of justice by the President, who might have tried to impede the investigation.  In addition to Mueller's probe, three committees on Capitol Hill are conducting their own investigations into the alleged Russian meddling. IANS