Acting AG Whitaker: Mueller investigation is 'I think close to being completed'

Mueller perjury charges Donald Trump Jr

Mueller perjury charges Donald Trump Jr

During a Monday news conference to announce the Justice Department's indictments against Huawei, a Chinese technology firm, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker revealed an interesting tidbit about Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.

"I've been fully briefed on the investigation and I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report", he said at a press conference on US charges against China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

"But the statements that I made were as a private citizen only with publicly available information and I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed either-through the various means we have". As I testified, I believe that Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation.

Whitaker's comments mark the first time a top government official with knowledge of the investigation has publicly confirmed the probe is in its final stages.

On Monday, Sens. Richard J. Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, introduced a bill to guarantee that every special-counsel report would be released directly to Congress and the public, effectively taking out the attorney general as middleman.

But Barr's statements could set at ease some Democrats who have expressed concern that Barr could stymie Mueller's investigation, which began on May 17, 2017. His predecessor Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March 2017 over questions regarding his own contacts with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign.

As the head of a conservative watchdog group, Whitaker questioned whether Mueller had the constitutional authority to investigate President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice for firing James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

International Monetary Fund warns on eurozone slowdown
The World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have also downgraded their world growth forecasts. As in October, the fund urged countries to negotiate a solution that will not inflict economic damage.

"I've been fully briefed, and I look forward to Mueller delivering the final report", Whitaker said.

Whitaker oversees the Mueller probe as head of the Department of Justice.

The special counsel's office declined to comment to CNBC. Trump has also repeatedly derided Mueller's work as a "witch hunt". Cases against other Trump associates - including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort - have already been adjudicated.

House Democrats have already said they are prepared to subpoena the report from the Justice Department and make portions of it public.

Barr testified, and reiterated in his written answers, that he "would not countenance changing the existing regulations for the objective of removing Special Counsel Mueller without good cause".

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 Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

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