There are signs that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election is winding down, several government officials told NBC News on Thursday, and he could submit his confidential report to the attorney general as soon as February.
"They are clearly tying up loose ends," one person said. Since his appointment in May 2017, Mueller has charged 33 people and convicted three — Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former National Security Advisdr Michael Flynn, and Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Manafort, Flynn, and Cohen all cooperated at one point or another with Mueller, and will soon be sentenced. Legal experts told NBC News prosecutors try to hold off on sentencing cooperating witnesses while they still need to retain leverage over them, and this is a sign that Mueller is wrapping up the inquiry.