A Justice Department official described as special counsel Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” is leaving the Russia investigation, signaling that the probe is nearing its end.
Andrew Weissmann will leave the special counsel’s office to study and teach law at New York University, NPR first reported.
Weissmann led the prosecution of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was sentenced to a total of seven-and-a-half years in prison for financial crimes and work he did for the Ukrainian government.
The news that he’s leaving the Mueller probe caused a stir on social media.
NPR’s @johnson_carrie reports that lead Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissman is departing, the latest sign that Mueller is done. Hard to imagine him leaving with a major case left to prosecute.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) March 14, 2019
If Mueller Prosecutor Andrew Weissman is Stepping Down, Is That The Best Clue Mueller Russia Investigation May Be Ending https://t.co/B5wsr8RASH
— Jeffrey Evan Gold (@jeffgoldesq) March 14, 2019
The left is becoming unhinged and losing it fast. Andrew Weissman, Robert Mueller’s right hand man and lead prosecutor in the @realDonaldTrump witch-hunt and hoax that has cost Americans an enormous waste of tax dollars has resigned. NO COLLUSION! Time to wake up and end this.
— Doug Bryan (@DougBryan917) March 14, 2019
He’s going to work as a college professor. Mueller is done it’s said to be wrapping up really soon. New ag barr put an end to the bs
— Trump won. Get over it. (@GTLogicChief) March 14, 2019
Weissmann is the best-known member of the special counsel’s team other than Mueller himself.
Conservatives criticized Weissmann after it was discovered that he attended Hillary Clinton’s party on Election Day 2016.
He also met with Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, to discuss a case against Manafort. Mueller was not appointed special counsel until a month later, on May 17, 2017.
Weissmann’s departure is the clearest sign yet that Mueller’s investigation is wrapping up.
News outlets have reported that Mueller & Co. were in the process of writing a final report on the investigation, which looked into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as possible obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump.
Some news outlets have reported that the report would be given to the Justice Department by the middle of March, meaning it could be only a matter of days.
Mueller has indicted more than three dozen individuals, including 25 Russian nationals and several Trump associates.
But none of the indictments have alleged conspiracy between Trump allies and Russians.
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