Mueller's investigation close to being finished, says acting AG Whitaker
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election is "close to being completed", acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has said. Whitaker told the media at the White House on Monday that he has been "fully briefed" on the investigation, CNN reported.
"I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report," he said. Whitaker's announcement follows new bipartisan legislation filed earlier on Monday that would require Mueller to summarise his findings in a report to Congress and the public. The Russia investigation, which began when Mueller was appointed in May 2017, has showed signs of nearing its end. Some of the probe's prosecutors moved to different jobs outside of Mueller's office and the office moved some of its cooperators like former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn toward sentencing.
The arrest of former adviser Roger Stone, one of the last key campaign associates in President Donald Trump's orbit, on January 25 was also a long anticipated move from Mueller. The investigation has consistently returned results -- the grand jury has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates, their Russian business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, 12 Russian military intelligence officers, 13 Russians and three companies that allegedly manipulated social media to sway US voters, CNN reported.
Manafort and Gates have since pleaded guilty to reduced sets of charges, with Mueller alleging in December that Manafort had lied on five major counts since agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel's office as part of his plea agreement. Flynn, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have also pleaded guilty to charges from the special counsel's office.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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