US special counsel to speak about Russia inquiry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48450534

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Media captionThe Mueller report – in 60 seconds

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller is to make a statement on the Russia investigation, his first public comments since the inquiry started in 2017, the justice department says.

The statement will be at 11:00 (15:00 GMT) and he will take no questions.

Mr Mueller concluded there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but did not exonerate the president of obstruction of justice.

His 448-page report was released with redactions last month.

The investigation has led to 35 people being charged, including several who were a part of Donald Trump’s campaign and administration.

US media report Mr Mueller will deliver a “substantial” statement and that the White House was notified on Tuesday night that the special counsel would comment on the investigation.

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It will be the Mr Mueller’s first public comments on the investigation

Mr Mueller’s report concluded that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election “in sweeping and systematic fashion” but did not find there had been a criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

It did, however, detail 10 instances where Mr Trump had possibly attempted to impede the investigation.

Mr Trump, however, has repeatedly claimed the investigation, which he described as a “witch hunt”, had exonerated him.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the House of Representatives have been trying to get Mr Mueller’s full report and underlying evidence.

Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr assigned a senior federal prosecutor to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and whether the collection of intelligence on the Trump campaign was lawful.

Democrats say Mr Barr – who was accused of mischaracterising the findings of the Russia investigation in a previously released summary – is acting on Mr Trump’s behalf and not in the national interest.

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