Monday, 20 November, 2017

Former FBI Head Mueller Named Special Prosecutor in Russia Probe

Freda Brock | 18 May, 2017, 14:11

Notably, the statement says the investigation will focus on both Russia's election interference and "related matters".

News reports Tuesday disclosed that Comey wrote an internal FBI memorandum months ago saying the president asked him to suspend or end an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Mueller said in a statement tweeted by CBS News: "I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability".

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity", he said.

In a statement after the Justice Department announcement, Trump said he looked forward to a quick resolution of the matter.

Mueller's appointment comes after the administration was rocked by reports that Trump asked Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey to drop an investigation of Mike Flynn, who resigned amid allegations of contacts with Russian Federation. They asked him to testify on the "circumstances of your termination" and his interactions with President Donald Trump's administration about the FBI's investigation into Russian Federation.

The appointment of Robert Mueller to oversee the controversial investigation was quickly hailed by Democrats, who've for weeks called for the naming of an independent counsel. The second longest serving Federal Bureau of Investigation director, he served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama before stepping down in 2013.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller says he accepts the responsibility of being appointed as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 election.

Dent said he is satisfied with the choice of Robert Mueller to lead the investigation but would have preferred an independent investigation along the lines of the 9/11 commission.

The White House counsel was notified after the special counsel order was signed and soon before it was publicly announced.

A senior administration official said former Democratic vice presidential candidate and Senator Joe Lieberman, one of those interviewed by Trump, was among the leading candidates.

Trump defiant, doubting top advisers as White House in turmoil
Amash, asked if the details of the Comey memo were true, said, "Yes", that he would support impeachment if they were true. Republicans who control the majority certainly aren't on board.

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, told MSNBC's "The Rachel Madow Show" that Mueller will bring renewed confidence on Capitol Hill. "Donald Trump has alrady [sic] made it his mission to end this investigation".

The move followed a week in which the White House was thrown into an uproar amid rising demands by Democrats and some of Trump's fellow Republicans for an independent probe of whether Russian Federation tried to sway the outcome of November's presidential election in favor of Trump and against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Politicians on both sides of the aisle applauded the selection.

A story in The Washington Post in 2001 identified Mueller as a registered Republican, but said people around him describe him as "apolitical", a key asset to the role in overseeing an investigation with high political stakes.

After a stint in private practice, Mueller returned to public service in 1989 as an assistant to Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh in the Department of Justice. That firm is also home to Jamie Gorelick, who has also represented Ivanka Trump.

Trump has called the FBI investigation into Russian Federation a "hoax" and "taxpayer funded charade".

It would be hard to fire Mueller, and past special counsel appointments have shown that the job comes with independence and autonomy. Quote is from Rosenstein, not Mueller.

"This was a necessary and long-overdue step by the Department of Justice that moves us closer to getting to the truth". He will request a budget that includes personnel.

What makes Mueller a welcome pick in Washington to lead the investigation?

The attorney general or his or her deputy does not have to explain their criteria in choosing someone to be a special counsel, who can even come from outside government.

The appointment Wednesday comes amid a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the politically charged investigation. That appointment was made by Comey, then the deputy attorney general.

Rosenstein sought to head off such questions, promising that Mueller "will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result".

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