WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – A senior U.S. Justice Department official on Friday shot down expectations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office will deliver a highly anticipated report next week on its investigation into possible Russian interference in U.S. elections.
“Any reports that the Special Counsel’s report will be delivered to the DOJ during the week of Feb. 28 are incorrect,” the official said.
CNN reported on Wednesday that the Justice Department may announce as early as next week that Mueller had given Attorney General William Barr his report. Barr would review the findings and submit his own summary to Congress, CNN reported.
“It’s not surprising that they would not issue a report while the president is in Vietnam engaged in high-stakes international diplomacy,” said a person close to the administration, referring to President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
The Mueller probe has ensnared many of Trump’s political confidants. Still, Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia and called the investigation a witch hunt. Russia has denied election meddling.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)