A federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first charges in the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reported Friday.
CNN cited sources briefed on the matter in reporting that the grand jury approved charges, but the network said that the charges are sealed under orders from a federal judge and it was unclear what the charges are or who they are against. The Wall Street Journal later Friday also reported that the first charges have been filed, citing a source.
NBC News has not confirmed the reports. Peter Carr, a spokesperson for Mueller, declined to comment Friday night.
Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed in May as special counsel to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election.
He was appointed by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein made the decision to appoint Mueller because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any probe in the Russia investigation.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn have been said to be key figures in Mueller’s probe, law enforcement sources familiar with the matter have told NBC News in the past.
Representatives for Flynn and Manafort did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.
Congressional investigations into alleged Russian involvement in the presidential election are also underway.
CNN, citing sources, said that an arrest could happen Monday.
“Sealing is fairly common at the stage when you have an indictment that is issued or approved, as it may have been today,” former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said on MSNBC Friday.
“And the reason is that law enforcement kind of wants its ducks in a row before they go out and arrest the defendant or even notify him — it may be that they don’t arrest whoever this defendant is because they’ve worked out a relationship with his or her defense attorney to bring them in to appear on the case,” she said.