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Mueller's Russia investigation 'close' to completed, AG Whitaker says

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election is nearing its completion, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/b1e340a8ef72ba87cf97e6886e8778d3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election is nearing its completion, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller has almost finished the two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the acting attorney general said Monday.

The Justice Department investigation has also been looking for any signs of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Kremlin. Trump has been adamant since taking office there was no cooperation and has repeatedly called the probe a "witch hunt."

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"The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon as we -- as possible," said acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. "I have been fully briefed on the investigation, and I look forward to director Mueller delivering the report, and I really am not going to talk about an open and ongoing investigation otherwise."

This marks the first time a Justice Department official has confirmed that the Mueller probe is nearing completion.

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The Democrat-controlled House can subpoena the report and make it public. New bipartisan legislation filed Monday requires Mueller to summarize his findings in a report to Congress and the public.

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Whitaker's comments came days after former Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested at his Florida home and charged as part of the investigation. He's accused of making false statements to Congress and witness tampering. He's expected to plead not guilty Tuesday.

Stone has been accused of contacting WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and arranging to have damaging information on Clinton released to the public before the November election.

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Mueller is investigating whether the dirt on Clinton was obtained by a Russian hacker, passed on to WikiLeaks and then to the Trump campaign via Stone.

Whitaker took over as interim attorney general Nov. 7 after Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned under pressure from Trump. The president had been critical of Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia inquiry.

Whitaker, however, has not recused himself from the investigation, despite past comments that criticized the process. He will ultimately decide what to do with the results of the report, if it comes before the confirmation of William Barr, Trump's permanent appointee to the top Justice Department post. Confirmation hearings started this month and a vote could occur next month.

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