Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein cites “public interest” in naming Mr. Mueller
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller named special counsel for Russia probe
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein cites “public interest” in naming Mr. Mueller.
Rosenstein promises Mueller will have “all appropriate resources”
Mueller will have “a degree of independence” from DOJ chain of command.
Move comes after furor of Comey memo saying Trump asked him to back off Flynn probe.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III was appointed as special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 election, the Justice Department said.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation related to the 2016 race. Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement that “I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility of this matter.”
He cautioned that his decision wasn’t the result of a “finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted.”
He signed the order on Wednesday. Mr. Mueller, a former federal prosecutor, served as FBI director from 2001 through 2013 and has a reputation for independence. Mr. Mueller has been a partner a WilmerHale, a law firm, but is stepping down from his role there to avoid any conflicts of interest, according to the Justice Department.
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