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Probe into Russia meddling in 2016 election to end by Sep 1: Giuliani


Washington, May 21: The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign will end by September 1, said Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. PTI file photo

Giuliani told The New York Times today that the office of Robert Mueller -- the special counsel who is leading the investigation -- had shared the timeline some two weeks ago.

Trump, who has repeatedly described the investigation as a "witch hunt," views it as a stain on his presidency and wants it over -- an end Giuliani apparently sought to further through his comments on the probe's conclusion.

"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," he told the Times, referring to the investigation's possible impact on mid-term elections in November.

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's 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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