Mueller’s Russia investigation ‘close to being completed’: acting attorney general


President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, says Vice President Mike Pence is among the officials with whom he has discussed the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

During a press conference announcing fraud charges against Huawei this afternoon, Whitaker was asked about his previously stated concerns about the Mueller investigation. "I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed. Right now, the investigation is close to being completed.Fundamentally, the Mueller investigation has a very defined scope". If the special counsel were fired or resigned, a public report would have to be released in two weeks.

And Trump's nominee (who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s) responded, "I do not believe that the Special Counsel regulations should be amended during the current special counsel's work and would resign rather than alter the regulations for the goal of firing the special counsel without good cause".

Some Democrats have questioned whether Barr should recuse himself from overseeing the investigation because of his comments in the memo.

Trump's nominee to fill the attorney general post permanently, William Barr, recently pledged to make public as much of the report as possible, saying Mueller is required to file it confidentially.

The president has decried the investigation as a partisan "witch hunt".

CNN reports that Whitaker has been "fully briefed" on Mueller's investigation and that he anticipates a swift end to the probe.

More news: English Premier League Report: Liverpool v Crystal Palace 19 January

Mueller is expected to provide the Justice Department with a report in the coming months.

Others in Trump's orbit have also been charged in the probe, including Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, his former campaign deputy, Richard Gates, and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Over the course of his almost two-year-long probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have now indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes.

The special counsel's office declined to comment to CNBC.

House Democrats have already said they are prepared to subpoena the report from the Justice Department and make portions of it public. So the final report from Mueller's team could have major consequences for the outcome of the investigation.

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.

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.