President Donald Trump may want the probe into his alleged collusion with Russian government officials to end, but all signs point to that investigation continuing for at least another year.
Trump's lawyers are scheduled to meet with representatives from the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III later this week, according to The Washington Post. Yet individuals familiar with the proceedings of the probe have said that not only is it very unlikely that Trump will get his wish, but that it could continue for at least another year. This is because George Papadopoulos, Trump's former campaign adviser, and Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, are continuing to cooperate with the Mueller probe. In addition, the probe has not stopped collecting new documents.
As a result, individuals working on the Mueller probe have said they expect it to continue well into 2018.
In response to this, Trump and the Republican Party have become increasingly aggressive in trying to discredit the Mueller probe, according to Politico. This has included questioning the legality of their decision to acquire thousands of emails sent by the Trump team during the transition period and by accusing the investigation of being biased against the president.
"It is definitely a smarter strategy than outright firing of Mueller, because that is likely to create a firestorm. It is also entirely consistent with Trump’s modus operandi because he is surprisingly non-confrontational, preferring to be manipulative and, frankly, sneaky," Elizabeth de la Vega, a former assistant U.S. attorney from the Northern District of California, told Politico.