The Mueller Investigation Is Apparently Coming To A Close, According To The Acting AG

by Chelsea Stewart
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For what seems like forever, people have been keeping close tabs on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russia and members of the Trump 2016 campaign. So far, his team has charged a half dozen Trump aides, nearly 30 Russian nationals, and three Russian businesses — and counting. However, reports have said the probe is nearing its conclusion, which might have you wondering: When will the Robert Mueller report be released? Truth is, it might be sooner than you think.

While there's no official date, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said at a Jan. 28 press conference that he believes the probe is "close to being completed." He added, per USA Today. "I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible." The special counsel's office declined to comment to Elite Daily on Whitaker's statement. It is notable, however, that even if a report is submitted, that doesn't mean it will be released publicly. Regulations surrounding the appointment of a special counsel require that at the end of an investigation, the counsel must provide a "confidential" report to the attorney general. The attorney general, in turn, will have the decision to either share the report with the public or pass it on to Congress.

Some Democrats, however, aren't so convinced that things are wrapping up. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said he takes anything Whitaker says with a "giant iceberg worth of salt," according to CNN. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) also told the outlet that he doesn't have "full confidence that acting Attorney General Whitaker intends to ... simply release the report in full," while Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) totally brushed off Whitaker's comments, saying he doesn't think the attorney general is "reliable." Elite Daily reached out to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for comment on these statements, but did not immediately hear back.

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Additionally, it seems like investigators are still gathering evidence. They made an arrest as recently as Friday, Jan. 25, when the president's longtime friend Roger Stone was booked on charges of making false statements, among other things, regarding the investigation. Stone has since pleaded not guilty to those charges, denying the allegations and saying he plans to be fully "vindicated." The indictment claims that Trump campaign officials asked Stone for documents that WikiLeaks (the organization that released a tranche of Democratic emails, which Mueller says were hacked by Russians, ahead of the 2016 election) had that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign. When emails from Clinton's camp were released, Stone allegedly received a text that said, "Well done," according to the indictment. The White House and representatives for Stone did not return Elite Daily's requests for comment at the time. The president has said the arrest has "nothing to do" with him.

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On the other hand, Whitaker's comments seem to support reports that surfaced in December 2018, which said that Mueller may submit his findings as early as mid-February 2019. "They clearly are tying up loose ends," a lawyer close to Mueller's team told NBC News. Experts also told the outlet that a sign Mueller is close to wrapping his investigation is that he's started to move forward with sentencing the men he's charged, particularly Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser who agreed to cooperate with Mueller after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017. But in the same breath, it's unusual to comment on ongoing investigations, so maybe take this how you want.

Something a little more convincing might be the reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may be leaving his post after Trump's nominee, William Barr, is confirmed. Elite Daily reached out to the DOJ for comment, but did not immediately hear back. As CNN points out, Rosenstein previously suggested to officials that he would step down either when the probe was completed or close enough to being wrapped that it couldn't be tampered with. Hmm...

Sounds like you'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, brace yourself. Something wild might just happen.