First charges filed in US special counsel Mueller's Russia probe: CNN
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, CNN reported, citing sources briefed on the matter.
The charges are sealed under orders from a federal judge, and it was not clear what the charges were, CNN said, adding that anyone facing charges could be taken into custody as soon as Monday.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia interfered in the election to try to help President Donald Trump defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her campaign.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with those Russian efforts.
He is also examining other possible crimes, including obstruction of justice, money-laundering and tax evasion.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment to Reuters about the CNN report on Friday.
Trump, a Republican who was elected president last November, has denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and condemned investigations into the matter as a witch hunt.
The Kremlin has denied the allegations.
Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department in May to lead the investigation after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading a federal investigation into possible collusion with Russia.
In July, FBI agents raided the Virginia home of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose financial and real estate dealings and prior work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine are being investigated by Mueller's team.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech; editing by Diane Craft)