Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, said Monday that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is nearing its conclusion. “Right now the investigation is, I think, close to being completed,” Whitaker said. “And, I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon as possible.” Whitaker made the statement during a news conference at which the Justice Department announced it was formally charging the Chinese telecom company Huawei and its chief financial officer with helping banks sidestep sanctions on Iran and for stealing trade secrets. The FBI has been investigating Russia’s interference in the election since summer 2016. As part of the investigation, Mueller is also looking into whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign secretly worked with Moscow to tilt the election in his favor, and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017. Last week, prosecutors charged the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone with obstruction, false statements, and witness tampering. Legal scholars say more indictments against Stone’s associates will likely be handed down in the coming weeks. Several other Trump associates have also been charged, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, and former campaign aide George Papadopoulos. Dozens of Russian nationals and several Russian entities have also been charged as part of the probe. Roger Stone. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Trump is a figure of interest in many threads of the investigation, including Comey’s firing and other reported efforts to hamper the investigation; the Trump Organization’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow; Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee; WikiLeaks’ subsequent dissemination of stolen emails; and a meeting between top campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower in New York City in June 2016. He was also named as an unindicted coconspirator in a separate criminal case against his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, which was brought by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan. Read more: Mueller dropped a huge bombshell in Roger Stone’s indictment, and it’s bad news for Trump Justice Department veterans say that even if prosecutors have evidence showing that Trump engaged in criminal conduct, it’s unlikely he would be indicted because Justice Department guidelines say a sitting president cannot be charged. Instead, Mueller is said to be putting together a report of his findings for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation. Rosenstein is expected to release the report to Congress, which would then make it available to the public. Some legal experts criticized Whitaker’s decision to publicly comment on the Mueller probe on Monday, particularly given the controversies surrounding his appointment as acting attorney general after Trump ousted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year. Chief among the controversies were several comments Whitaker made criticizing the investigation and musing about how to render it ineffective. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais “This is exactly why Whitaker should have recused himself from overseeing the [Russia] probe,” wrote Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York. “We should be able to have faith & trust that the AG is acting in the interests finding the truth & not (as many will be) skeptical that he is in some way pressuring Mueller to wrap it up.” Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago, echoed Rocah’s view, writing that he “couldn’t agree more.” “I hope that when this is over, Mueller will publicly make clear the extent of any interference with his investigation from anyone,” Mariotti wrote. It’s unclear how it would affect pending court cases and indictments if Mueller were to wrap up the investigation and submit a final report. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is locked in legal battle with prosecutors who accused him of breaching his plea deal after agreeing to cooperate with them. Some media reports have said Mueller is weighing whether to put Manafort on trial again. Meanwhile, it surfaced last year that the Justice Department is gearing up to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone said he doesn’t intend to plead guilty and will go to trial after being charged with seven counts last week. And Justice Department veterans have said Jerome Corsi, the far-right political commentator referenced — but not named — in Stone’s indictment may also be charged soon.
I hereby give credit where credit is due to the author
more recommended stories
Mark Zuckerberg humiliated by group of lawmakers, who accuse Facebook’s CEO of spectacular leadership failure
A devastating report from a UK.
Here are the latest predictions for Apple’s 2019 products, according to one of the most reliable Apple analysts
Getty Ming-Chi Kuo is one of.
BMW’s North American CEO reveals how the carmaker will continue to create passion and emotion for the luxury brand
BMW’s Bernard Kuhnt. BMW Bernhard Kuhnt.
Russia’s RT attacks Facebook for suspending 4 viral news channels that broadcasted Kremlin talking points to millennials
The editor of the Russian state-owned.
The CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management says there’s a major challenge facing ETFs for buzzy do-good funds, and it’s why the firm hasn’t entered the market
Marie Chandoha, CEO of Charles Schwab.
Facebook accused of acting like ‘digital gangsters’ in a devastating report by lawmakers
British lawmakers have accused Facebook of.
Asian markets rip higher as Trump praises ‘very productive’ trade negotiations with China
Aly Song/Reuters Asian markets rocket higher.
Andrew McCabe describes ‘incredibly turbulent’ period after Trump fired James Comey and reveals what he says prompted Rod Rosenstein to suggest wearing a wire to record the president
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe..
Nearly everyone living in Alaska gets about $2,000 a year from the state’s $65 billion fund. We asked 9 Alaskans how they spend it.
Businesses throughout Alaska take advantage of.
Australia’s major political parties have been hacked months out from a federal election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has.