Acting AG Whitaker says Mueller probe 'close to being completed'

Roger Stone speaks after his appearance at Federal Court in Fort Lauderdale Florida U.S

Since then, the special counsel has brought criminal charges against a succession of aides and associates of President Donald Trump, mainly for lying about interactions with Russian Federation or intermediaries linked to the Kremlin.

Whitaker said that he had been "fully briefed on the investigation" being led by Mueller, a former FBI director.

Media outlets have reported that Mueller's office could be close to issuing a final report on his investigation. "We believe a selective release would be problematic".

Whitaker didn't say exactly when he thought the investigation would end. Those contacts, according to Mueller's indictments and USA intelligence agencies, occurred while the Russian government carried out a multifaceted effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign and attempt to sway it Trump's way.

He suggested his impression of the investigation might be different now, because the statements he had made in opposition to the Mueller probe were "as a private citizen only with publicly-available information". "If referrals are made by committees, we would investigate".

Others in Trump's orbit have also been charged in the probe, including Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, his former campaign deputy, Richard Gates, and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

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Schiff says he wants Cohen to testify behind closed doors so he can be asked questions about the Russian Federation investigation. Trump has called Cohen a "bad lawyer" and accused him of lying to Mueller to try to get a lighter prison sentence.

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.

According to the indictment, Stone told an associate, Randy Credico, to do a "Frank Pentangeli'" when testifying before Congress - a reference to a character in "The Godfather: Part II". "So I would not be holding my breath for this to be over, but I do think we're in the last stages of it".

"I keep hearing Mueller's over in February, they just busted Roger Stone", he added.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said he was not involved in any collusion with Russian Federation and has often referred to the probe as a "witch hunt".

Manafort's convictions related largely to bank and tax fraud.

"The President has not asked me my views about any aspect of the investigation, and he has not asked me about what I would do about anything in the investigation", Barr wrote in response to questions posed by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. He took over control overseeing the probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the president's request in November.

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