The investigation into Russia's interference in last year's election has entered a new stage. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly impaneled a grand jury for his probe.
Within hours of the news that a federal grand jury is now investigating Russian actions in the election, President Trump came out swinging at a West Virginia rally.
He lambasted the special counsel for hiring some lawyers who have supported Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats for ties to special interests. Once again he blamed them for advancing a false narrative about his ties to Russia
"The reason why Democrats only talk about the totally made up Russia story is because they have no message, no agenda and no vision," he said.
The president listed his accomplishments in just a short seven months in office – accomplishments he suggests his opponents don't want you to know. For example: A record high stock market, reforms at the Veterans Administration, thousands of manufacturing jobs coming back to America, and executive orders allowing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
"The Russia story is a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. That's all it is," Trump insisted.
Grand juries are commonly used to subpoena records and witnesses, but they don’t necessarily mean any criminal charges will be sought.
But the grand jury news – first reported by The Wall Street Journal – suggests Mueller may be expanding his investigation into following the money toward possible Trump campaign and business transactions with Russians.
Not only can a federal grand jury force a president to testify, as in the case of Bill Clinton, it can also subpoena documents like tax returns and bank records.
Law Professor David Levine of UC Hastings College of Law said he'd be concerned if he were in the White House.
"I would be concerned that the investigation has gone up another notch or appears to have gone up another notch. In short order, probably people who are in the administration or former members of the administration or former members of the campaign will be getting subpoenas to testify and provide documents," he said.
But the president isn't a target of the probe. Appearing on Fox News, presidential attorney Jay Sekulow said, "We have no reason to believe the president is under investigation here."
Despite the federal grand jury investigation, the president and Republicans received some good news Thursday: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced he's switching parties from Democrat to Republican.
"Like it or not like it, but the Democrats walked away from me...Today, I will tell you with lots of prayers and lots of thinking, today I'll tell you as West Virginians, I can't help you anymore being a Democrat governor," he explained.
Justice is a coal magnate. He owns five mines and more than 100 companies.
As he told CBN’s Wendy Griffith, he's also a faithful Christian.
"I pray many times a day and read the Bible every single night before I go to bed," he said. "When God is in your life, it just empowers you and you're not afraid, you feel Him there."
With Justice switching parties, there are now 34 Republican governors, and only 15 Democratic governors. The Republicans now control the governorship and legislatures in 26 states. Democrats only have full control in six states while the others are divided.
But the news of West Virginia's governor switching parties seemed buried beneath all the Washington frenzy over the impaneling of a federal grand jury. The president would like a quick conclusion to the Russia investigation, but Mueller's latest move suggests it may continue for a very long time.