Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded during the 2016 election is “close to being completed.”
“Right now the investigation is I think close to being completed,” the top Justice Department official said in a press conference. “I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.”
JUST IN: Acting AG Whitaker on the Russia investigation:
“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from [Special Counsel] Mueller as soon as we — as possible.” pic.twitter.com/U4pxkNOoEt
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 28, 2019
“I have been fully briefed on the investigation. I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report,” he continued. “I really am not going to talk about an open and ongoing investigation otherwise. But the statements I made were as a private citizen with only publicly available information.”
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. “I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to reviewed either through the various means that we have,” he told reporters.
Mueller, a former FBI director, was named by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s team has indicted a total of 34 people — but so far, no charges of outright collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow have been filed.
On Friday, Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative and longtime Trump adviser, was arrested at his south Florida home by FBI agents on charges of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering. Federal law enforcement officials are facing criticism for what some are calling an abuse of power for its heavy-handed pre-dawn raid. “I’m 66 years old, I do not own a gun, I do not have a valid passport, I have no prior criminal record, I’m charged with nonviolent process crimes,” Stone told reporters Monday “To storm my house with greater force than was used to take down bin Laden or El Chapo or Pablo Escobar, it’s unconscionable.”
Six Trump associates have pleaded guilty to various charges so far including his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former lawyer Michael Cohen and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
The Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.