Special Counsel Robert Mueller stressed that his investigation into Russian election meddling was ongoing and consisted of “multiple lines of non-public inquiry,” in a court filing Wednesday evening in a lawsuit brought by media companies seeking the release of certain records related to the probe.
“Many aspects of the investigation are factually and legally interconnected: they involve overlapping courses of conduct, relationships, and events, and they rely on similar sources, methods, and techniques,” the special counsel said. “The investigation is not complete and its details remain non-public.”
The Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and Politico are suing for the unsealing of various types of warrants used in the special counsel’s investigation, as well as sealed court documents specific to the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was indicted last fall.
“The fact that certain charges have been brought does not imply that the Special Counsel’s investigation into the assigned matters is closed,” Mueller said, arguing against the release of the records. “Nor does it imply that the search warrant materials could be unsealed at this time without creating a serious risk of jeopardizing the ongoing and interconnected aspects of the investigation.”
The filing comes as President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has claimed that Mueller’s attorneys told him that they intend to wrap up the aspect of the probe pertaining to allegations that Trump obstructed justice by September. (A source told Reuters that deadline was “entirely made-up.”)
It was also filed hours after a court filing in the case for George Papadopoulos — the Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about Russian contacts — asked the judge to begin the sentencing process. Many took the filing to be a sign that Mueller’s team is not planning to use Papadopoulos, who has been cooperating with the probe, as a trial witness.
There have been other indications in court documents and elsewhere that Mueller’s investigation was chugging along. But it is rare to see Mueller’s own lawyers say so as a robustly as they did in Wednesday’s filing:
In the filing, Mueller also said that many media reports about the nature of the investigation “may be inaccurate or incomplete” and may be “based on unofficial sources, half-understood facts, or speculation.”
Mueller, in the filing, said that he was not opposed to unsealing the two Manafort warrants that have been subject to legal challenges that Manafort has brought seeking to throw out certain evidence, with Mueller acknowledging that many of the details about them were already coming out in open court proceedings.
“Additionally, because these are among the earliest warrants obtained in the investigation and only two warrants are at issue, the government believes that it could practicably redact sensitive information and nonetheless leave unredacted certain information whose disclosure would not harm the ongoing investigation,” the special counsel said.
The Mueller team also offered to give U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson a “more detailed presentation of the investigation” and the relevant records in private, though the special counsel said he believed that lawsuit could be resolved based just on the public record.
Read the filing, which also includes an appendixes of charges brought by and plea deals reached by Mueller so far, below: