“It is time to bring this inquiry to a conclusion,” Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said recently, according to the Hill.
“I think we’ve wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably we’re finished,” Trump said Sunday in a Fox News interview.
The White House isn’t going to get its wish. Trump may have submitted his answers and everyone may be holding their breath to see what Mueller is going to do next, but the investigation still has a long way to go before anything can be wrapped up, decided or settled in any way.
Mueller is on the brink of putting some of the bigger pieces in the investigation together, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Mueller team is scheduled to file a court memo on December 4. This document will provide details about Mueller’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn’s sentencing has already been delayed four times. He has pled guilty to lying about his contact with a Russian official.
The extent of his involvement and cooperation with the Russian government will be made clear next month, but Flynn is just one player in a drama with a huge cast of characters. Donald Trump is the lead in the play, and he will be the last domino to topple.
That means that Mueller’s investigation is only just now beginning to drop the hammer, and many more players will be interviewed and charged before the investigation is even close to being finished.
Trump has provided written answers to several questions posed by Mueller, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. But that, too, is just the beginning of the dance that Trump and Mueller will engage in over the upcoming weeks and months.
Mueller may still push for an in-person interview with the President, something the White House legal team has been trying to avoid. Getting Trump to answer questions was only achieved after months of back-and-forth between Mueller’s team and the White House lawyers, so every painful step of this investigation is likely to take weeks, or even months before even a single stride can be made. It took almost a year for Trump to agree to provide any answers at all.
That means the investigation is nowhere near its end, as Trump and the White House want to believe.
And legally, Donald Trump can be compelled to testify to Mueller in person or in any other way that Mueller demands, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the President could be compelled to comply with a subpoena, a ruling they made in 1974 when the President in question was Richard Nixon.
“We have made clear that in a criminal case the powerful interest in the ‘fair administration of criminal justice’ requires that the evidence be given under appropriate circumstances lest the ‘very integrity of the judicial system’ be eroded.”
Justice John Paul Stevens wrote this in regard to President Bill Clinton after Paula Jones filed a sexual harassment suit against him.
So if Mueller isn’t satisfied with Trump’s answers, Mueller may still use legal methods to compel the President to submit to an interview — another step in the investigation that could ultimately take months.
Either way, Mueller’s investigation is closer to starting than it is to ending.