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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Special Counsel Bob Mueller has enlisted a grand jury as part of the ongoing Russia probes, WSJ reports. The grand jury will investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and it started its work a few weeks ago, according to the Journal.

Why it matters: Impaneling a grand jury suggests that Mueller's investigation, which started as a narrow inquiry, is now expanding and intensifying. Grand juries permit prosecutors to subpoena witnesses and documents, as well as pursue indictments against anyone involved. Reuters reported that the grand jury has issued subpoenas relating to Don Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and others.

From WH Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, per WSJ:

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he wasn't aware that Mr. Mueller had started using a new grand jury. "Grand jury matters are typically secret," Mr. Cobb said. "The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly....The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller."
Former FBI Director Jim Comey said three times the President is not under investigation and we have no reason to believe that has changed.

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.