A meeting between White House lawyers and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office later this week will likely not end the way President Donald Trump wants it to, and people with knowledge of Mueller’s probe say it could last another year, The Washington Post reports.
Mueller in May was tasked with investigating possible collusion between Trump’s transition team and Russian officials as part of the interference that Russia conducted on the U.S. presidential election in 2016.
His probe has already led to some significant charges, including the indictment of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his business associate Rick Gates. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was charged on Dec. 1 with lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador, and George Papadopoulos, who served as foreign policy adviser on Trump’s presidential campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statement to the FBI agents.
Flynn and Papodopoulos are cooperating with investigators.
Trump and his team have accused Mueller of overreach, and this past weekend a lawyer for the presidential transition said the special counsel illegally obtained thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before he took office.
Trump’s lawyers plan to press Mueller on when he will wrap up the investigation and exonerate Trump, according to the Post.
“As far as a clean bill of health, I can’t imagine they are going to be prepared to make a decision like that at this point,” Peter Zeidenberg, the former deputy special counsel who helped investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s covert role as a CIA operative, told the Post in reference to Mueller’s team.
“They are not going to be in a position to make that call until they finish this case and finish discussing all the evidence they have.”
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