Mueller Investigation Could Take Months More Despite Matt Whitaker’s Claim That End Is Near, Experts Say

Acting Attorney General claimed Monday that Robert Mueller would be ending his Russia collusion investigation soon, but 'not so fast,' say experts on the case.

Robert Mueller tries to calm people down.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

Acting Attorney General claimed Monday that Robert Mueller would be ending his Russia collusion investigation soon, but 'not so fast,' say experts on the case.

On Monday, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker shocked legal experts by breaking with long-standing Justice Department practice of declining comment about ongoing investigations by offering a comment on the investigation into collusion between the 2016 Donald Trump campaign and Russia led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But the substance of what he had to say was even more surprising. According to Vox.com, Whitaker announced that the Mueller investigation “is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as we — as soon as possible.”

But is it? NBC News claimed that Mueller was “nearing the end of his historic investigation into Russian election interference and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February.” However, according to former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, the investigation likely has “months” to go before Mueller wraps up his work.

“The number of loose ends that remain in Mueller’s investigation — some of which could take months to tie up — simply appears inconsistent with Whitaker’s prediction,” Litman wrote in a Washington Post op-ed column on Tuesday.

The fact that, in December, the grand jury working with Mueller was extended at least through May, according to The Daily Beast, would appear to indicate that Mueller will be conducting his investigation at least that long. But there are numerous other reasons why Mueller may be working for a long time to come, Litman and other experts say, as Inquisitr reported earlier.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday that the Mueller investigation is “close to being completed.” Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Seth Abramson, the author of the New York Times bestselling book Proof of Collusion, listed 20 reasons why he believes Whitaker’s claim to be wrong.

“Whitaker is repeating the Trump party line — Mueller is almost done — which has been reported seven times before over a period of a year and has been wrong every time,” Abramson wrote on his Twitter account.

Among the indications seen by Abramson that Mueller’s investigation is far from complete.

• Donald Trump Jr. “repeatedly lied to Congress,” Abramson wrote, an assertion that was echoed by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Richard Blumenthal in an MSNBC interview Monday. Trump Jr. has reportedly told friends that he expects an indictment from Mueller.

Rick Gates arrives at court.
Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates has at least two more months of cooperation with Mueller. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

• Mueller last week asked a judge for a two-month delay before sentencing Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official who has been cooperating with the investigation, as Axios reported. “Given how long ago Gates pleaded guilty, that Mueller still needs him means that he is working on something very complex,” Abramson wrote on Twitter.

• Mueller continues a secretive court battle against a mysterious foreign corporation that he is seeking documents from, with the battle going all the way to the Supreme Court, as Huffington Post reported. “(Muller) wouldn’t do this if he were about to write a report that didn’t include any information about those documents,” Abramson wrote on Twitter.