Acting AG: Mueller Probe ‘Close to Being Completed’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker waves as he arrives to speak at a news conference, January 28, 2019. (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election is close to wrapping up, Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told reporters on Monday.

“I’ve been fully briefed on the investigation and I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report,” he said at a press conference on U.S. charges against China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

“Right now the investigation is I think close to being completed and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.”

Whitaker’s comments mark the first time a top government official with knowledge of the investigation has publicly confirmed the probe is in its final stages.

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

But Mueller has been tight-lipped about when the months of closed-door grand jury sessions and criminal charges will conclude, leaving questions over how far into the White House his probe will reach and what will happen to his findings.

Mueller’s investigation most recently ensnared a long-time confidant of President Donald Trump, political operative Roger Stone.

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.

Trump’s nominee to fill the attorney general post permanently, William Barr, pledged to make public as much of the report as possible, saying Mueller is required to file it confidentially.

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.

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