Matthew Whitaker: Mueller Probe 'Close To Being Completed'

Trump-Russia probe Matthew Whitaker
Robert Mueller investigation is 'close to being completed,' acting attorney general says

30 January, 2019

The probe of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is wrapping up, acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has said.

"Right now the investigation is I think close to being completed", the top Justice Department official said in a press conference. "I have been fully briefed on the investigation, and I look forward to director Mueller delivering the report, and I really am not going to talk about an open and ongoing investigation otherwise".

Washington Post reporter Devlin Barrett calls the news a "big deal" because, he says, it's the first time a senior administration official has said the investigation is close to being finished.

Media outlets have reported that Mueller's office could be close to issuing a final report on his investigation.

Mueller's investigation began on May 17, 2017, about a week after Trump fired Comey.

"I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be um reviewed, you know, through the various means we have", Whitaker said of the investigation.

Mueller has also charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic Party emails and 13 other Russians with engaging in an online campaign to influence USA voters in the 2016 election.

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He then said "Take Matt's word for it but Bob Mueller doesn't feel, to me, like he is nearly done".

Others in Trump's orbit have also been charged in the probe, including Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, his former campaign deputy, Richard Gates, and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Whitaker responded to some of that criticism on Monday saying that the statements he made were when he was "a private citizen only with publicly available information". The Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Attorney General nominee William Barr on February 11.

Trump has repeatedly denounced the investigation as a "political witch hunt" and fervently denied there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

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

In his responses, Barr stressed he would not interfere with Mueller's investigation and that his previous memorandum critical of Mueller's authority did not necessarily reflect his current views.

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