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Acting AG says Mueller investigation "close to being completed"

Acting AG says Mueller investigation

The head of the Justice Department says the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is close to being completed. "I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report".

In his remarks to reporters Monday, Whitaker added, "Fundamentally, the Mueller investigation has a very defined scope".

"Right now, you know, the investigation is I think close to being completed".

Mr Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was named by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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"Complete amateur (or worse?) move by Whitaker to announce publicly that Mueller is nearly done", he said, saying that's it's generally not proper to reveal the status of ongoing investigations.

Whitaker was asked directly if, in light of his previous criticism of the Special Counsel, he'd seen anything once he became acting AG and began receiving briefings that gave him pause about Mueller or his investigation.

Whitaker appeared to address those prior statements on Monday, saying that they were "sort of the statements that I made were as a private citizen only with publicly available information".

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. Stone was charged with false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller, foreground, arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 21, 2017.in Washington, D.C.

William Barr, Trump's pick to permanently replace Sessions, pledged earlier this month that he will, if confirmed, make Mueller's findings public to whatever extent possible.

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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