White House lawyer Cobb predicts quick end to Mueller probe




Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington
Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House special counsel Ty Cobb predicts the cloud of an investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election will soon be lifted from President Donald Trump and says he would be "embarrassed" if it still hangs over the president in 2018.

Cobb told Reuters this week that he talks to Trump on an almost daily basis and has been in contact with the team of Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia, as well as possible money laundering by at least one former aide.

But Cobb, who resigned from law firm Hogan Lovells to take the White House job on July 31, said in interviews on Tuesday and Wednesday he believed Mueller's probe was "narrow" and that by the end of the year Trump should no longer be threatened by it.

"I'd be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it's still haunting him by year end," Cobb told Reuters, adding: "I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow."

He declined to provide specifics backing his projected timeline, which suggests a speedier end to Mueller's probe than several outside experts believe is likely.

"The White House would be lucky if sometime in the spring of 2018 this started to wrap up, but even that I think is pretty optimistic," said Andy Wright, former associate counsel in former President Barack Obama's White House. "It's a very complicated investigation."

Wright said Mueller's team would have to track down many leads in the United States and overseas, and gather evidence from email accounts, intelligence reports and other sources.

Russia's government has denied interfering in the election and the president has denied collusion took place.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment on any timeline for the probe, the scope of the investigation or any interactions with the White House.

Like all senior White House staff, Cobb, 66, reports to retired general John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff.

As a White House lawyer, he is in a different position than the president's outside lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Cobb would not be able to assert attorney-client privilege to protect his conversations with Trump from a grand jury subpoena.

Trump has said he believes any investigations of his and his family's finances would be beyond the scope of Mueller's probe.

Cobb said he believed Mueller's 16-lawyer team was "appropriately focused" and understood "the urgency to the country and to the presidency" of finishing the probe quickly.

"We have one objective, which is to bring this to a conclusion as quickly as possible," Cobb said.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Anthony Lin and Kieran Murray)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Myanmar protesters try to block aid shipment to Muslim Rohingya
Myanmar protesters try to block aid shipment to Muslim Rohingya
  • World
  • 2017-09-21 06:10:20Z

By Andrew R.C. Marshall SITTWE, Myanmar (Reuters) - Buddhist protesters in Myanmar threw petrol bombs to try to block a shipment of aid to Muslims in Rakhine state, where the United Nations has accused the military of ethnic cleansing, before police fired in the air to disperse them. Hundreds of protesters

Mueller investigators seek documents from the White House
Mueller investigators seek documents from the White House

WASHINGTON (AP) - Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators is seeking information from the White House related to Michael Flynn's stint as national security adviser and about the response to a meeting with a Russian lawyer that was attended by President Donald Trump's oldest son, The Associated Press has learned.

TRUMP: I assumed when I won, I would
TRUMP: I assumed when I won, I would 'sit down at my desk and there would be a healthcare bill'

President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised the latest attempt from Senate Republicans to...

Sarah Huckabee Sanders says not to read into the photos of John Kelly looking distraught during Trump
Sarah Huckabee Sanders says not to read into the photos of John Kelly looking distraught during Trump's UN speech

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that she "would certainly not read...

'We're embarrassed too': How John Kelly reacted to Donald Trump's threats against North Korea
'We're embarrassed too': How John Kelly reacted to Donald Trump's threats against North Korea

John Kelly, Donald Trump's chief-of-staff, appeared to go through an "existential crisis" on Tuesday, social media users joked, as he listened to the president's address to the UN General Assembly. Mr Trump used his maiden address to the world's leaders to escalate his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge, threatening to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people and mocking its leader, Kim Jong-un, as a "rocket man." A great and important day at the United Nations.Met with leaders of many nations who agree with much (or all) of what I stated in my speech!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017 It was...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.