Mueller probe close to complete, says acting attorney general

Saul Bowman
January 30, 2019

CNN reports that Whitaker has been "fully briefed" on Mueller's investigation and that he anticipates a swift end to the probe.

"Right now, you know, the investigation is I think close to being completed".

The timing of Mueller's investigation had been a matter of intense speculation since months after it began in May 2017.

"Complete amateur (or worse?) move by Whitaker to announce publicly that Mueller is nearly done", he said, saying that's it's generally not proper to reveal the status of ongoing investigations. He has also acknowledged that he discussed Mueller with Trump himself when he turned down an opportunity to represent the president in the special counsel's investigation.

Mueller will submit his report to Whitaker unless he has been replaced as attorney general by then by Bill Barr, who has been nominated to the post but not yet confirmed by the Senate.

Whitaker did not elaborate or give any timetable for the end of a almost two-year investigation that has shadowed Trump's presidency.

"We prefer that as much of the report as possible is public", Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News.

Since his appointment, Mueller has secured guilty pleas and indictments against six high-profile Trump associates, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime confidant Roger Stone.

For example, the special counsel's 24-page indictment unsealed on Friday alleged that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee and persuading a witness to provide false testimony.

But Barr has declined to pledge to release Mueller's report in its entirety, saying that some portions might need to remain confidential, such as decisions not to charge certain individuals.

On Friday, Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative and longtime Trump adviser, was arrested at his south Florida home by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on charges of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said he was not involved in any collusion with Russian Federation and has often referred to the probe as a "witch hunt".

Following former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation, Whitaker was named acting Attorney General on November 7.

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