Many people have long been anticipating the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and the final report. Thus far, Mueller’s team has indicted or obtained guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies with the latest being former Trump adviser Roger Stone.
On Monday, it was reported that Mueller’s investigation has the funding to continue until at least September 2019 if needed. According to Reuters:
‘The operations and funding of Mueller’s office were not addressed in the budget requests for the next government fiscal year issued by the White House and Justice Department on Monday because Mueller’s office is financed by the U.S. Treasury under special regulations issued by the Justice Department, the officials said.’
A Justice Department spokesperson said:
‘The Special Counsel is funded by the Independent Counsel appropriation, a permanent indefinite appropriation established in the Department’s 1988 Appropriations Act.’
In recent weeks, many reports that the Mueller team is wrapping up its investigation have surfaced, but the special counsel’s office has not confirmed whether that is the case.
When the Mueller investigation is concluded, his team is likely to deliver a report summarizing its findings to Attorney General William Barr.
The Russia probe began in May 2017 after former FBI director James Comey was fired by Mr. Trump. The investigation is examining whether there were any links or coordination between the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Those who have criticized the investigation say that Mueller’s probe should wrap up quickly because it is a misuse of taxpayer funds.
Records from the Justice Department show that Mueller’s office reported spending around $9 million during the fiscal year which ran from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. There are no figures for the current year.
A federal government fiscal year begins on October 1, and ninety days prior to the start of the fiscal year, special counsels are expected to provide a budget request for the following year. According to the regulations, a special counsel:
‘shall report to the Attorney General the status of the investigation and provide a budget request for the following year.’
It is not known whether Mueller is preparing a funding request for the 2020 fiscal year.
According to Reuters:
‘Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and has labeled Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”’
Just Sunday, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Mueller was making a “mistake” by not demanding that President Trump testify as part of his investigation.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
‘Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) acknowledged that it might be expedient for Mueller to avoid subpoenaing Trump’s testimony because the president could fight it and Mueller’s new boss, Atty. Gen. William Barr, might oppose such a move.’
‘But I do think ultimately it’s a mistake because probably the best way to get the truth would be to put the president under oath. As he’s made plain in the past, he feels it’s perfectly fine to lie to the public. After all, he has said, “It’s not like I’m talking before a magistrate.” Well, maybe he should talk before a magistrate.”
Here are a few comments from the Twitter world:
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