The head of the Justice Department said Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is nearing an end - the first official acknowledgement that the probe that has ensnared President Donald Trump may soon reach a conclusion.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker made the comment during a news conference about an unrelated subject - indictments stemming from a Chinese technology firm.
Asked about his view of the Mueller probe, given critical comments he had made while working as a television pundit before he started working at the Justice Department, Whitaker said that those statements were offered while he was as a private citizen.
"I have been fully briefed on the investigation, and I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report," said Whitaker. "I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed. . . . Right now, the investigation is close to being completed."
Whitaker's remarks were brief and to the point, but they represent the most extensive comments on the subject by any senior law enforcement official in recent months. They also come just days after Mueller's office unveiled an indictment of Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump. Stone was charged with false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering.