Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation may be nearing its conclusion, after nearly two years.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says he's been briefed on the Mueller investigation and says that the report is "close to being completed."
— ABC News (@ABC) January 29, 2019
“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from Mueller as soon as possible,” Whitaker said at a Justice Department press briefing Monday.
Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 to investigate Russian election interference and possible connections to the Trump campaign.
The comments by Whitaker are the first regarding a time-table for the completion of the Mueller investigation by a high-ranking Justice Department official.
Whitaker assumed his role as acting attorney general in November and took the reigns of oversight of the investigation.
There was speculation whether Rosenstein’s office would continue managing the day-to-day operations of the investigation, but Whitaker confirmed Monday that he has been “fully briefed” on the investigation.
Whitaker was asked Monday about previously made comments in which he was critical of the special counsel’s investigation. Whitaker defended himself, saying they were made “as a private citizen only with public available information.”
“I am comfortable that the decisions that were made [by Mueller] are going to be reviewed through the various means we have,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker is set to hand over leadership of the Justice Department to William Barr, who was nominated last year to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Barr had a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee earlier this month, and the panel is set to send his nomination to the full Senate early February.
Barr, in written responses to senators Monday, sought to quell worries about the Mueller investigation.