Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Is Mueller Wrapping Up Russia Probe? Acting AG Says Yes.
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
January 29, 2019

Share

WASHINGTON — The special counsel’s Russia probe is “close to being completed,” the acting attorney general said Monday in the first official sign that the investigation may be wrapping up.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s comments were a departure for the Justice Department, which rarely comments on the state of the investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed,” Whitaker said Monday at the end of an unrelated news conference in Washington. He said he had been “fully briefed” on the probe.

No Timetable Given

Whitaker did not elaborate or give any timetable for the end of a nearly two-year investigation that has shadowed Trump’s presidency.
So far, special counsel Robert Mueller has charged 34 people, including several close to the president. But he has yet to accuse anyone close to the Trump campaign of conspiring with the Kremlin to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump win the election.
Whitaker, who is seen as a Trump ally, took over the Justice Department — and oversight of the Mueller probe — after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request in November.
Whitaker has drawn criticism for not recusing himself from the Russia investigation, even though he has publicly criticized it in the past. A top Justice Department ethics official advised him to step aside out of an “abundance of caution,” but Whitaker declined to do so.

Barr Awaits Senate Confirmation

According to Justice Department regulations, Mueller has to provide a report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his investigation laying out his prosecution decisions.
But it’s unclear what form the report will take or whether it will be released publicly.
And depending on when Mueller wraps up, the report may not go to Whitaker. Trump has nominated William Barr to serve as the next attorney general. His confirmation hearing was held this month and he’s awaiting a vote in the Senate.
Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month that he wants to release as much information as possible about Mueller’s findings, but he has hedged on specifics.

Trump: Investigation Is a ‘Witch Hunt’

Trump has slammed the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt” and says there was no collusion.
The evidence so far shows that a broad range of Trump associates had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period, and several lied about the communication. Those contacts, according to Mueller’s indictments and U.S. intelligence agencies, occurred while the Russian government carried out a multifaceted effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign and attempt to sway it Trump’s way.

Six Trump Associates Charged

On Friday, longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone became the sixth Trump associate to be charged by Mueller.
The others are Trump’s former national security adviser, his campaign chairman, his former personal lawyer and two other campaign aides.
Stone faces a Tuesday morning arraignment in federal court, where he is expected to plead not guilty to charges that he lied to lawmakers, engaged in witness tampering and obstructed a congressional investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Though most defendants facing charges tend to stay quiet for fear of inflaming prosecutors or a judge, Stone has opted for a different tack since his pre-dawn arrest Friday.
Stone staged an impromptu news conference outside a Florida courthouse, made the rounds on weekend television interviews and mocked the probe on Instagram, posting a cartoonish image of Mueller holding a “nothingburger” — just a hamburger bun with no meat.
Also Monday, a judge delayed the sentencing of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Virginia after he was convicted of eight financial crimes last year.
The sentencing is being delayed as a judge in Washington decides whether Manafort intentionally lied to investigators.

DON'T MISS

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

DON'T MISS

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

DON'T MISS

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

DON'T MISS

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

DON'T MISS

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

DON'T MISS

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

DON'T MISS

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

DON'T MISS

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

DON'T MISS

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

7 hours ago

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

8 hours ago

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

8 hours ago

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

9 hours ago

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

9 hours ago

Don Arax Talks About His New Football Job at Visalia’s Central Valley Christian

9 hours ago

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

11 hours ago

Career-High Strike Outs for Ryan Weathers as Marlins Best Giants 6-3

11 hours ago

LeBron’s Lakers Top Pelicans in Play-in, Set up Playoff Rematch With Nuggets

11 hours ago

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

11 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he strongly supports a proposal from House Speaker Mike Johnson to provide aid to Ukrai...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

6 hours ago

Hot Rod Willys: Driven to Bake the Perfect Chicago-Style Pizza

7 hours ago

Local Leaders Must Put Their Shoulders Into Making Fresno ‘Education City USA’

7 hours ago

EdSource Welcomes Fresno News Veteran Jim Boren to Its Board

8 hours ago

Senate Dismissed Two Articles of Impeachment, Ending Trial on Mayorkas

8 hours ago

Netanyahu Dismisses Calls for Restraint, Says Israel Will Decide Iran Attack Response

9 hours ago

New Study Calculates Climate Change’s Economic Bite Will Hit About $38 Trillion a Year by 2049

9 hours ago

Biden Pledges to Block Japanese Takeover of US Steel and Promises Tariffs on Chinese Steel

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend