Mueller report over Russian interference expected within weeks

Mueller report over Russian interference expected within weeks

Washington, Feb 22 (IANS) Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to deliver a report in the coming weeks on results of his ongoing investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, the media reported.

Once the report is submitted, it is not certain how much of it will become public or when, informed sources told The New York Times on Thursday.

The submission of the report would effectively mean that his office is closing down. Mueller would no longer be conducting investigations in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Special Counsel would also not be opening any new lines of inquiry, the sources said.

But active cases that have not yet been brought to a conclusion would likely continue.

The White House is bracing for revelations that could politically damage President Donald Trump, or open him up to the possibility of impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House, even if he is not accused of criminal conduct.

The report will be handed over to the new attorney general, William P. Barr.

Barr will then review it for any classified information that would have to be omitted from any summary that he might decide to release, a process that could take days or even weeks, the sources told The New York Times.

Mueller was appointed as the Special Counsel on May 17, 2017, in the wake of Trump’s decision eight days earlier to dismiss James B. Comey as FBI Director.

Mueller was given a mandate to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election and “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”.

He was also given the option of referring any other matters that he might come across in doing so to other federal prosecutors, who can further investigate and open new cases.

The Special Counsel’s office has indicted dozens of people, including a half dozen former Trump campaign advisers who have been indicted or pleaded guilty to past financial crimes, lying to the FBI, obstructing the special counsel investigation and failure to properly disclose their work for foreign governments.

Mueller has also indicted dozens of Russian intelligence officers for stealing and then weaponising information from former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s inner circle.

It has indicted Russian propagandists for the misinformation campaigns they spread on social media that sought to dampen support for Clinton in her campaign against Trump.

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