Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was appointed as specal counsel to lead an investigation into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 election, it was announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
Mueller takes over the investigation following the firing of James B. Comey by President Donald Trump. He will serve under Rosenstein and Trump during the investigation, but he will have more autonomy than other U.S. attorneys.
Here are 10 things to know about Robert Mueller, considered by Democrats and Republicans as an honorable law enforcement official.
1. FBI director during 9/11 — Mueller became head of the FBI on Sept. 4, 2001, just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said CNN.
2. Preceded Comey at FBI — He preceded James B. Comey as FBI director. Comey, who had been leading the investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, was fired by President Trump on May 9.
3. Kept FBI's chin up — Mueller was praised for restoring confidence in the FBI following agency controversies that included the deadly clash between the FBI and Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas and revelations that FBI agent Robert Hanssen had been a spy for the Russians, said USA Today.
4. Served Republican, Democrat presidents — Mueller headed the FBI until 2013 and was the second-longest FBI director in history, behind the bureau’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover. President Barack Obama asked Mueller to stay on as director for a 12-year term, longer than the usual 10-year term.
5. Unanimous confirmations — Mueller was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, 98-0, as the director in 2001 and approved by the Senate, 100-0, for the extension of his term in 2011.
6. Outside investigations — Following his stint as FBI director, Mueller was called on to handle investigations under major corporations and institutions. The National Football League asked him to head an investigation involving running back Ray Rice who was seen in an elevator video beating his fiancée at the time. Mueller concluded that the NFL could have conducted a more thorough investigation before the public was outraged by the video.
7. War service — Mueller was a Marine Corps officer who led a rifle platoon during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze star, said the The Washington Post.
8. Education — He attended Princeton University and graduated from the University of Virginia Law School.
9. Law practice — Mueller practiced law privately before working in U.S. attorney offices for 12 years. He later headed the Department of Justice’s criminal division in 1990 and became U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California just before being named FBI director.
10. To leave law firm — He is expected to resign from WilmerHale, a private law firm he joined in 2014, to serve as special prosecutor.
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