Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker at a news conference on Monday where the Justice Department announced the formal charges against Chinese telecom company Huawei and its CFO for violating sanctions on Iran was asked about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Whitaker told reporters that the probe, which began in May of 2017, is “close to being completed.”
“Right now the investigation is I think close to being completed,” Whitaker said. “I have been fully briefed on the investigation. I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report.”
As I wrote yesterday, all the Mueller charges so far are process charges, which do not involve Russian collusion.
Not that I believe the report will come out anytime soon, but I would like to point out who the audience is for the special counsel’s report. This report is for the Attorney General — whether it is Whitaker or nominee William Barr — not for Congress or the press.
At the end of the report Mueller should report his recommendation whether charges should be brought against anyone. As Mueller has said President Trump is not the focus of charges. Why else would Whitaker “look forward” to its release.
Now of course this report will not remain a document only shared within Justice. No, democratic House members will demand that the document be released and if not it will be leaked to sympathic journalists to parse and opine on the charges not brought against the Trump White House.
Look for outrage in New York Times and Washington Post coming soon.