Mueller probe 'close to being completed': acting US attorney general

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"The investigation is, I think, close to being completed", Whitaker said on Monday at the end of an unrelated news conference in Washington. Speaking at his first press conference since taking over the Justice Department in November 2018, Whitaker also said he has been "fully briefed" on Mueller's probe. If confirmed by the Senate, Barr would inherit oversight of Mueller's investigation. "Since Matt is supervising it", Christie opened before lauding the Special Counsel's professionalism saying "I can just tell you that the thing about this Mueller investigation is there has been no leaking".

Citing government officials close to the case, last month NBC News reported that Mueller was expected to complete a confidential report for the attorney general about the investigation as early as middle of next month. "I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed".

Mueller was appointed to investigate possible Russian collusion in May 2017 after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey.

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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 USA voters in the 2016 election. Trump has denied any such collusion and has called Mueller's probe a witch hunt.

On Friday, Roger Stone, 66, a veteran Republican operative and longtime Trump advisor, was arrested at his Florida home by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on charges of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering. Stone was charged with false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering.

"I would not countenance changing the existing regulations for the objective of removing Special Counsel Mueller without good cause", Barr wrote to the senators.

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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.

In his responses, Barr stressed he would not interfere with Mueller's investigation and that his previous memorandum critical of Mueller's authority did not necessarily reflect his current views.

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