In mid-October, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team caught more than a dozen of President Trump's top campaign officials by surprise when he issued a subpoena requesting documents related to Russia, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
The officials had been sharing with the special counsel the same documents they were giving congressional committees investigating Russian meddling into last year's election, the person said. The subpoena, the first official order for information from Trump's campaign, did not compel any of the recipients to testify before Mueller's grand jury, the Journal reports. "Sending a subpoena to an entity that says it has been cooperating with document requests isn't unusual in cases in which prosecutors have some concern that their demands aren't being met promptly or aren't being entirely fulfilled," the Journal explains. "A subpoena can serve as a backup, to make sure the recipient is complying as promised, and as a reminder that failure to provide documents as demanded would count as obstructing a grand-jury investigation."