U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday he thinks it’s time for special counsel Robert Mueller to conclude his criminal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart the probe.
Pence told NBC News, “In the interests of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up.”
There is no indication, however, that Mueller is close to ending his year-long probe. His legal team has been negotiating with Trump’s lawyers over whether the president will sit for an interview and under what terms, such as the topics to be discussed, the length of the questioning and whether Trump would testify under oath.
If no agreement is reached, Mueller has suggested that he could subpoena Trump to testify under oath before a grand jury, which could spark a legal dispute that would have to be decided by the Supreme Court over whether a sitting president can be forced to testify.
“It’s been about a year since this investigation began,” Pence told NBC. “Our administration’s provided over a million documents. We’ve fully cooperated in it.”
Pence added, “I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.”
The vice president was asked about news that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, collected more than $2 million after the 2016 election by promoting himself as someone with access to Trump and someone who could provide insight into the new president’s thinking on policy issues.
But Pence called it a “private matter” and “something I don’t have any knowledge about.”