Robert Mueller investigation is 'close to being completed,' acting attorney general says

William Barr: Concerns Over Trump's Privacy Could Shield Robert Mueller Conclusions

It is not known if Whitaker, or his presumed successor, William Barr, a far right wing religious conservative who President Trump has nominated as Attorney General, will allow the full report to be released to Congress or the public.

Members of Congress moved swiftly to make sure that Mueller's report will be available to the public, however, introducing bipartisan legislation Monday that would guarantee the report's release, even if the Special Counsel "is fired or resigns".

Whitaker's comments about the Mueller investigation are likely to trigger further inquiries from Democrats who have accused him of being illegally appointed and failing to heed ethics advice suggesting he should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.

Whitaker has drawn criticism for not recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation, even though he has publicly criticized it in the past. So the final report from Mueller's team could have major consequences for the outcome of the investigation. "I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report". And depending on when Mueller wraps up, the report may not go to Whitaker.

Trump has slammed the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" and says there was no collusion.

Prior to joining the Justice Department as Sessions' chief of staff in 2017, Whitaker served as a conservative media pundit and made multiple comments raising skepticism about Mueller's investigation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider Barr's nomination along with multiple judicial nominations on Tuesday, but the panel is expected to hold over its vote on Barr for one week, until February 5.




Barr's nomination is likely to be voted out of the Judiciary Committee next week, setting up a confirmation vote on the Senate floor before Presidents' Day on February 18.

Mueller's probe began in May of 2017 and has resulted in criminal charges against a number of aides to President Trump.

Mueller has also charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic Party emails and 13 other Russians with engaging in an online campaign to influence U.S. voters in the 2016 election. Four former Trump campaign officials - including his onetime national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, also a former associate of Stone - are among those who have pleaded guilty.

Though most defendants facing charges tend to stay quiet for fear of inflaming prosecutors or a judge, Stone has opted for a different tack since his pre-dawn arrest Friday. But during the press conference, Whitaker also made news on the progress of the Mueller investigation.

Barr also said he'd resign if Trump claimed executive privilege to cover up evidence of a crime.

The sentencing is being delayed as a judge in Washington decides whether Manafort intentionally lied to investigators.

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