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Mueller to reportedly complete Trump-Russia probe as early as next week

Updated: 2019-02-21 08:17

This combination of pictures created on January 24, 2018 shows US President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, January 5, 2018, and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, special counsel on the Russian investigation, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on June 21, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

WASHINGTON - The US Department of Justice may announce as early as next week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has given the attorney general his report on the federal Russia investigation, CNN said on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

After the expected announcement, US Attorney General William Barr will review Mueller's findings and submit his own summary to Congress, CNN reported.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the CNN report. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, also declined to comment.

Democrats have been concerned that Barr, who has discretion over what is ultimately made public, will choose to limit disclosure, although the new attorney general has said he would seek to make public as much of Mueller's findings as he can.

Trump, responding to the CNN report on Wednesday, noted that decision would be up to Barr.

"That'll be totally up to the new attorney general," Trump told reporters at the White House as he prepared to meet Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion by US President Donald Trump's campaign, as well as possible obstruction of justice by the Republican president.

Trump has denied any collusion and repeatedly slammed the Russia probe as a "witch hunt." Moscow has also denied any meddling. So far, 34 individuals and three companies have pleaded guilty, been indicted or otherwise swept up in the inquiry, including several former Trump advisers.

The report will not mark the end of legal scrutiny on Trump.

Newly empowered Democrats in the US House of Representatives have said they plan to use Mueller's court filings to build a picture of wrongdoing by Trump advisers that can provide the basis for hearings.

The Mueller probe has also spawned several investigations that are being handled by other offices and will carry on even after Mueller's work is done.

Under special counsel regulations, Mueller must submit a confidential report to the attorney general explaining his prosecutorial decisions at the conclusion of his work.

The attorney general, in turn, is required to inform the judiciary committees of Congress about Mueller's report in the form of "brief notifications, with an outline of the actions and the reasons for them."

How much ultimately becomes public is unclear.

Barr, who was confirmed by the Senate last week, said during his confirmation hearings that he would make public as many of Mueller's findings as he can but stopped short of promising to release the entire report.


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