Despite President Donald Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb claiming the probe into possible Russian interference with last year’s presidential election will end by December, a U.S. official suggested it may very well carry on into next year.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still gathering evidence, proven by his subpoenas to several Trump campaign officials, sent last month. Cobb has repeatedly expressed optimism that the investigation will soon come to a close, clearing any suspicions hanging over President Trump and his administration. He said in an interview that the White House was working with Mueller’s office in order to expedite the investigation’s conclusion.
However, the official familiar with the investigation, and some outside legal experts believe there is still a lot more to be done by the special counsel, which may take months. For one, the official said, Mueller’s legal action against Trump’s associate Paul Manafort and Rick Gates will most likely continue into 2018.
Another official said that in order for Mueller to investigate the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, he has to pursue different investigative angles, including the firing of former FBI director James Comey by President Trump. Financial dealings by family members and associates of Trump’s, as well as Russia’s attempts to manipulate Facebook are also investigated.
Jeffery Cramer, a former federal prosecutor, also said the investigation “will continue through 2018,” adding that the White House expectation were “groundless.”
Cobb said the White House provided Mueller with all requested documents last month, and he expects that interviews with staffers will end after Thanksgiving, but one of the officials pointed out that only an opening round of interviews may be completed by then, opening the path for additional ones later on. He further noted that Mueller will now review the obtained documents and decide whether more materials are to be subpoenaed, or new lines of investigation are to be opened.