Robert Mueller, the newly appointed Special Counsel investigating alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, has a long history in Washington and a reputation for independence.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Trump’s ties to RussiaRobert Mueller, the newly appointed Special Counsel investigating alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, has a long history in Washington and a reputation for independence.
Mueller earned degrees from Princeton University and New York University then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in 1968. After serving in the Vietnam War he went to law school and eventually became a Federal Prosecutor.
In 2001 Mueller was appointed FBI Director by republican president George W. Bush. He was sworn in less than a week before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and went on to lead that investigation.
He remained in his FBI post under Democratic President Barack Obama, who took the unprecedented step of keeping him on as FBI director for two years beyond the customary 10 year term.
“Bob has led the bureau during incredibly challenging times,” Obama said.
Mueller is the rare figure in Washington who is seen as being largely above partisan politics. He has a reputation for honesty and integrity.
“He’s known as being very thorough, searching, detail-orientated. It’s seen that he can add an independent voice to this investigation which is exactly what’s needed now,” Said Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola University.
Democrats are praising the appointment.
“I was very, very pleased, first that he was appointed, and second that it was Bob Mueller, who is a terrific guy with unimpeachable integrity,” said Rep. Jim Hines, a Democrat from Connecticut.
Republicans are less enthusiastic about a Special Counsel but mostly approve of Mueller.
“I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller. If there has to be a special counsel, they made an excellent choice,” said Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York.
As Special Counsel, Mueller will have wide latitude to investigate links and potential coordination between the Russian Government and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Mueller may also include related crimes, including perjury and obstruction of justice. If evidence of a crime is found, the Special Counsel may file charges and prosecute those crimes.
For the most part, Mueller will operate independently – but he must inform the Justice Department of major developments, or if the investigation heads in new, unforeseen directions. It’s not clear how long the investigation will take but similar probes in the past have taken months or even years.
Former U.S. Prosecutor weighs in on the appointment of Mueller
For additional context on the scope of Mueller’s role as Special Counsel – and the investigation into alleged ties between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to former U.S. Prosecutor Michael Wildes.