News ID: 214878
Published: 0321 GMT May 11, 2018

'It's time to wrap it up': Pence tells Mueller on Russia probe

'It's time to wrap it up': Pence tells Mueller on Russia probe

US Vice President Mike Pence has called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to “wrap up” his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"What I think is that it’s been about a year since this investigation began," Pence said in an interview with NBC News on Thursday. "Our administration has provided over a million documents, we’ve fully cooperated in it and in the interest of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up."

"And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion," he added, stressing that the administration was fully cooperative with the probe and would continue to do so.

Mueller is investigating alleged collusion between US President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

US intelligence agencies claim Russia-linked hackers provided WikiLeaks with damaging information -- in the form of thousands of hacked emails -- about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with the Russians and has labeled Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has also denied the allegations.

Responding to Pence's remarks on Thursday, US Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham defended Mueller's process.

"That's not Vice President Mike Pence's decision to make," Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said. "I'm sure Mr. Mueller will wrap it up when it gets time to wrap it up. The only thing I can say is I haven't seen any evidence of collusion. Mr. Mueller has a good reputation, and we'll see what his report says and where he goes."

Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee in US Senate, said he agreed Mueller's investigation "should be wrapped up soon," but he added that "nobody is going to tell Mueller what to do."

The intelligence committees in both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives were probing the alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow, while Special Counsel Robert Mueller opened a similar investigation in 2017.

The House Intelligence Committee officially announced the end of its Russia investigation last month, revealing in a final report that there was “no evidence” regarding alleged collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign in the 2016 presidential election.

The Republican-led panel rejected ties between Moscow and Washington in the US presidential vote, criticizing Trump's campaign team and the campaign run by Clinton for "poor judgment and ill-considered actions" in their dealings with Russian figures.

Commenting on the released report, the US president took to Twitter and said the Russian investigation should be immediately ended.



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