More than one year after it began, there may finally be an end in sight for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign.
What are the details?
The New York times reported the development Sunday afternoon after confirming the details with Rudy Giuliani, a leader on President Donald Trump's legal team.
- Mueller shared with Trump's team that he plans to conclude the investigation by Sept. 1.
- Mueller shared his timeline with Trump's team two weeks ago during negotiations over whether the president would be interviewed.
- However, Giuliani told other media outlets Mueller's investigation could continue past the set date, but would involve avenues other than Trump.
- Giuliani said Trump's legal team is still discussing the possibility of Trump meeting with Mueller's team, with a tentative date in mid-July, he told Fox News.
- Giuliani also told Fox a sit-down interview with Trump may be contingent on information about the FBI's informant placed in Trump's campaign.
In speaking to the Times, Giuliani said if Mueller waits past September to end his investigation, he risks being accused of trying to sway the 2018 midterm elections.
"You don’t want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don’t know how it affected the election," Giuliani said, referring to then-FBI Director James Comey's decision to re-open the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and then close it again, in the run-up to the 2016 election.
"We want the concentration of this to be on Comey versus the president’s credibility, and I think we win that and people get that," Giuliani added.
Giuliani did not elaborate further, but expressed his confidence that Mueller's team has found no evidence of wrongdoing by Trump during the 2016 campaign, let alone evidence his campaign colluded with Russians.