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Washington (AFP) – Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign could end by September 1.
Giuliani said the office of Robert Mueller — the special counsel who is leading the investigation — plans to end the investigation by then, and had shared the timeline some two weeks ago, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Fox News quoted Giuliani as saying that Mueller told Trump’s legal team the investigation could be over by September 1, although the timeline was contingent upon the special counsel interviewing the president by mid-July.
Giuliani said he wants the investigation over by that time so it does not affect Republicans’ chances in congressional mid-term elections in November, Fox reported.
“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 told the Times.
Former FBI director James Comey — fired by Trump last year — announced that the bureau would reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s misuse of a private email server just 11 days before the 2016 presidential vote, a move that may have helped cost her the election.
Trump, who has repeatedly described the investigation as a “witch hunt,” views it as a stain on his presidency and wants it over.
His former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his first national security advisor Michael Flynn and an assortment of campaign aides have all been caught in Mueller’s investigation, variously pleading guilty, cutting a plea deal or fighting the case in court.
But a year after the probe began, the big questions remain unanswered: Did Trump’s campaign collude with the Kremlin to skew the 2016 election? What did the president know and when did he know it? Did he obstruct justice? Can a sitting president be indicted?
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