Acting AG: Mueller probe is 'close to being completed'

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker said Monday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s probe is “close to being completed.”

Whitaker told reporters at a press conference that he has been “fully briefed on the investigation.”

“I hope that we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible,” he said.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE and Republican allies for months have called for a conclusion to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election; the president has repeatedly attacked the effort as a "witch hunt."

The comments by Whitaker come days after longtime Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneBannon says he discussed how to 'kill this administration in the crib' with Trump before Jan. 6 Roger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview Lawyer for 17 Jan. 6 defendants says he's been released from hospital MORE was indicted as part of Mueller's probe. The indictment alleges that Stone made false statements, engaged in witness tampering and interfered with a congressional investigation.

The indictment, unsealed on Friday, claims that Trump campaign staff were directed to ask Stone what documents WikiLeaks had in its possession that could be damaging to the Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks distributed stolen Democratic emails in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, which Mueller has alleged were hacked by Russian military officers.

The White House has said the charges have "nothing to do" with the president. Stone has denied the allegations and is promising to fight the indictment in court.

Mueller has indicted several Trump campaign officials in the course of his probe since he was appointed in May 2017, including former Trump campaign head Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Whitaker also made his comments amid speculation over whether the public will be able to review the full contents of Mueller's report when the probe is concluded.

William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general, declined to commit to releasing the full report during his confirmation hearing earlier this month. He said he would have to follow Department of Justice guidelines in determining how the report is released.

Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyCongress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B Biden confronts sinking poll numbers Congress needs to push for more accountability in gymnasts' tragic sex abuse MORE (R-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also dropped legislation Monday requiring that reports issued by any special counsel be publicly released.

--Updated 5:43 p.m.