During a press conference on Monday Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is coming to an end.
“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible,” Whitaker said. "I’ve been fully briefed, and I look forward to Mueller delivering the final report. Right now, the investigation is close to being completed...Fundamentally, the Mueller investigation has a very defined scope."
NEW: Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker says Mueller investigation "is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/HL7XCGTohV— ABC News (@ABC) January 28, 2019
We've heard that Mueller's investigation was coming to an end but when a report would be produced remained unseen.
According to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Whitaker's remarks were inappropriate, clearly referencing Whitaker's past comments on limiting Mueller's authority:
An Acting Attorney General who refuses to follow the advice of ethics lawyers and recuse himself from an investigation in which he has shown a clear bias is the last person who should speak for the Special Counsel.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 29, 2019
While the probe is ongoing, Mueller can speak for himself. https://t.co/7sy10bNcAF
Democrats have been upset by Whitaker's remarks prior to joining the Justice Department. From the Daily Caller:
Whitaker, who was appointed associate attorney general after Jeff Sessions was fired on Nov. 7, has come under fire from Democrats because of statements he made before joining the Justice Department criticizing the Russia probe. As the head of a conservative watchdog group, Whitaker questioned whether Mueller had the constitutional authority to investigate President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice for firing James Comey as FBI director.
Whitaker also asserted that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, while calling into question the political makeup of the grand jury that Mueller is using in Washington, D.C.
“I think the grand jury makeup is concerning based on where they called this grand jury,” Whitaker told radio host David Webb on Aug. 11, 2017.
Whitaker appeared to address those prior statements on Monday, saying that they were “sort of the statements that I made were as a private citizen only with publicly available information.”
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Fox News the Trump administration wants as much information as possible to be released to the public.
“We prefer that as much of the report as possible is public. We believe a selective release would be problematic," Giuliani said.