Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman on Tuesday called claims that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election could be wrapped up by January a “complete fantasy.”
Ackerman’s comments to MSNBC’s Ari Melber came after White House special counsel Ty Cobb told Melber that the interviews in the probe would ideally be done after Thanksgiving “and that there’s a possibility that the entire Mueller matter could be resolved in early January.”
Ackerman dismissed that idea. “There’s no way this can be done by January. First of all, you’ve got the Manafort trial, that they’re talking about, at the earliest, having it start in April of next year,” Ackerman said.
Cobb also addressed speculation that he was trying to reassure members of the White House.
“I’m not shaping this timeline to calm anybody,” Cobb told Melber.
In his discussion with Melber, Ackerman noted that the trial of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, might not even start until April of next year.
“The whole point behind the Manafort trial is to basically put the squeeze on him so that he will testify against others,” Ackerman added.
“Now, that takes time.”