Technology has sped up many processes in the years since Watergate, but it still takes just as long to incubate a homegrown tomato or a healthy baby. Trump’s unlikely to be the only person disappointed when Mueller doesn’t “wrap things up” in time for the New Year’s Eve champagne, but he may well be the most surprised. Per the Washington Post:
White House lawyers are expected to meet with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office late this week seeking good news: that his sprawling investigation’s focus on President Trump will soon end and their client will be cleared.
But people familiar with the probe say that such assurances are unlikely and that the meeting could trigger a new, more contentious phase between the special counsel and a frustrated president, according to administration officials and advisers close to Trump…
White House lawyers have told the president he could be exonerated as early as the beginning of the year, after previously reassuring him that he would be cleared by Thanksgiving and Christmas, as The Washington Post previously reported. They have stated publicly that all White House interviews are over and that Mueller’s team is no longer seeking White House documents.
In the meeting this week, they plan to ask Mueller’s investigators if they need more information before reaching a conclusion that the probe as related to Trump is complete, according to a person familiar with the Trump team’s plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.
The question that White House lawyers will pose to the special counsel’s office, according to the person: “You’ve had all these witnesses, all these records. Is there anything else you need from the White House?”…
“I think it’s possible Mueller’s team could give them an idea of how much longer they anticipate their investigation will last,” said Peter Zeidenberg, the former deputy special counsel who helped investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s covert role as a CIA operative. “I would be shocked if they have a timeline anything similar to what we’ve heard coming from the White House.”
“As far as a clean bill of health, I can’t imagine they are going to be prepared to make a decision like that at this point,” he said of the special counsel’s team. “They are not going to be in a position to make that call until they finish this case and finish discussing all the evidence they have.”
Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, said he thinks it is unlikely that the probe wraps up by the end of the year, but he said he believes it could conclude in the spring. He said that Mueller is aware of the political implications surrounding his investigation.
“Bob understands you can’t have a president who is living under this cloud of uncertainty,” Corallo said, adding that he believes it is possible that the special counsel will at some point call Trump’s lawyers and say, “We are done with the president. There is nothing there.”…
The attacks on Mueller’s investigation grew this weekend after an attorney for the presidential transition told congressional investigators Saturday that thousands of pages of the organization’s communications were provided to Mueller by the federal General Services Administration.
Trump’s lawyers learned Mueller had the emails this month when witnesses were quizzed on the material. Some of the documents contained sensitive information that wasn’t related to the Russia investigation, according to a person familiar with the material.
A GSA spokeswoman declined to comment. Mueller’s team said it obtained all documents legally.