Former US special counsel Robert Mueller has sharply defended his investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Writing in a newspaper opinion piece on Saturday, he said the probe was of "paramount importance" and asserting that Trump ally Roger Stone "remains a convicted felon, and rightly so" despite the president's decision to commute his prison sentence.
The op-ed in The Washington Post marked Mueller's first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July.
It represented his firmest defence of the two-year probe whose results have come under attack and even been partially undone by the Trump administration, including the president's extraordinary move on Friday evening to grant clemency to Stone just days before he was due to report to prison.
Australian Associated Press