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Mueller’s Russia probe is “close” to being over, acting Attorney General Whitaker says

"I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible," Whitaker said.

by Greg Walters
Jan 28 2019, 10:33pm

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is nearing its end, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Monday.

Whitaker said he’s been “fully briefed” on the probe, and that “right now, the investigation is, I think, close to being completed.”

"I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible," Whitaker added during a press conference called to announce charges against Chinese technology company Huawei.

Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 and tasked with investigating whether the Trump campaign cooperated with Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 campaign.

Whitaker’s comments mark the first time an official overseeing Mueller’s probe in the Department of Justice has signaled it was nearing the finish line. The brief remarks come just days after Mueller’s team indicted Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant and former political adviser, with multiple counts of making false statements to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

Read: House Democrats want to know if Whitaker played a role in Mueller’s rare BuzzFeed statement

Mueller’s marching orders call for him to deliver a “confidential” report to the attorney general when his work is finished. It remains unclear how detailed that report will be, and how much of it will be shared with the public by the leadership of Trump’s Department of Justice. Democrats in Congress, however, have said they’ll fight to win access to any passages that are withheld.

Yet several legal observers have said Mueller appears to be leaving breadcrumbs throughout his indictments. The ultimate effect, they say, is that despite the intense secrecy surrounding the special counsel’s work, he has already put some of his conclusions into the public sphere.

“The reality is, we’re getting the report from the indictments, one indictment at a time,” Nick Akerman, a former member of the Watergate prosecution team, told VICE News.

Cover: Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks during an interview at FBI headquarters on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)