Mueller's investigation ‘wrapping up,' acting AG's wife emails reporter

Whitaker sent email to Slate writer

By ELI WATKINS, CNN
Leah Millis/REUTERS via CNN

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

(CNN) - Marci Whitaker, the wife of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, sent an email to a reporter pushing back on an article and said the special counsel investigation was by all accounts "wrapping up."

Whitaker's email came in response to an article Mark Joseph Stern co-authored at Slate arguing that the Senate should not confirm William Barr, President Donald Trump's choice to lead the Justice Department, just to remove Whitaker as a threat to the special counsel probe led by Robert Mueller.

Whitaker sent the email to Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern, who published it after saying the outlet's technology director "confirmed that the email originated from mail servers operated by her company."

On the special counsel probe, Whitaker wrote, "It isn't really or shouldn't be that controversial to state that the Mueller investigation should stay within the parameters given. Particularly when that is said more than a year prior as the investigation is just beginning. Why would a person need to recuse oneself for that mild statement?

"If abundance of caution is the standard, anyone who ever spent 5 minutes contemplating the topic would need to do so. And by all means, assume that a person who speculated on a hypothetical scenario would then put some dark plan into motion, when by all accounts, the investigation is wrapping up and they [sic] eyes of the nation are upon them."

She ended her email with a postscript asking Stern not to use her work email address and phone number "in any ill manner," noting the effects of the ongoing government shutdown. The Justice Department is among the portions of government operating without new funding until an agreement is reached.

"I like my job and I need to continue to earn a living, particularly in light of this shutdown," she concluded.

The Justice Department declined to comment. A source close to the acting attorney general confirmed to CNN that the email came from Whitaker's wife.

Trump chose Matthew Whitaker to lead the Justice Department after he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions last November, and the appointment immediately came under fire due to Whitaker's past criticism of the Mueller probe and legal questions about his own past.

CNN reported recently that Mueller had begun writing parts of the report laying out the investigation's findings.

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