Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is "a man of high integrity, a man of great courage" who will not "put up with any impediments" to his probe of alleged Russian ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, best-selling political author Ronald Kessler told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"You couldn't pick a better person to lead this investigation," Kessler, who has interviewed Mueller for three of his books on the FBI, told Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Mueller, who oversaw the FBI during the 9/11 attacks, as independent counsel amid growing calls by Republicans and Democrats in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey last week.
"All sides admire Mueller as a straight-shooter, as someone who has turned the FBI into a very powerful anti-terrorism force after 9/11," Kessler told Newsmax. "The reason why we haven't had a major successful terrorist attack is because of the changes that Mueller made in the FBI to protect us."
Kessler's latest book is "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents."
"It is a brilliant stroke" by Rosenstein to "diminish the criticism of what Trump has been receiving," he said.
"Neither side can legitimately criticize the Trump White House or the Trump Justice Department in the future because Mueller is in charge of the investigation."
Mueller, 72, took over the FBI one week to the day before the 9/11 attacks, stepping down in 2013. He was nominated by former President George W. Bush and had briefly served as a deputy attorney general.
A graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, Mueller served as a U.S. attorney under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He also was an assistant attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.
"He has tremendous grasp of the FBI and how it works," Kessler told Newsmax. "The FBI is so complex that it takes years for a new person to learn it."
Alluding to President Trump's reason for dismissing Comey, Kessler said of Mueller: "As a former Marine, he is not a showboat.
"He really hates publicity. When he testifies, you can't detect any real emotion in his testimony.
"I can't think of anyone better suited to lead this effort," he added. "The FBI will investigate it, and he will be overseeing any prosecutions."
Kessler was fully confident that Mueller would be independent in his inquiry and his findings.
"This removes any cloud over this entire Russia investigation," he said. "It will remove any potential ammunition by the Democrats.
"We will have an independent investigation that will bring out the facts — and that's it."
Kessler told Newsmax that in preparing for his 2011 book — "The Secrets of the FBI" — he learned Mueller had received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam.
Kessler had to obtain the specifics through a Freedom of Information Act request.
"He was so modest that he didn't want to talk about it," Kessler said.
Mueller served as an officer in the Marine Corps for three years, leading a rifle platoon in Vietnam. His other military honors included two Commendation Medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Regarding the Moscow investigation, Kessler said Trump's order in April to unleash 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria — a response to President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons — was "against Russia's interests."
"The bottom line is that he is not in bed with the Russians," he said. "That should tell people that a lot of the hysteria about Russia is fiction."
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