One day after it was reported that former FBI Director James Comey kept a memo of President Trump asking him to drop the investigation against former national security adviser General Michael Flynn, the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel in the Russia probe.
According to CNN, former FBI Director Robert Mueller will oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign associates and Russian officials. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein handed the job to Mueller instead of Attorney General Jeff Sessions doing so because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because he was a Trump campaign adviser and accusations that he has been accused of not being honest about his own ties to Russia during his confirmation hearings.
The 72-year-old has past FBI experience: He led the FBI for 12 years under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, NBC News reported.
“I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my best,” Mueller said in a statement.
The White House didn’t believe that a nonpartisan counsel was needed to oversee the investigation.
In a statement #45 said the following: “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. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
Both Democrats and Republicans have praised this pick, NBC reported.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called Mueller a “great selection,” while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said a special counsel had been “very much needed” and that Rosenstein had “done the right thing.”
“Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job,” Schumer said in a statement. “I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder said, “As long as his character is appropriately defined and he is properly resourced, this is a good move.”
“There is much that warrants investigation involving people at the highest levels of the executive branch. I’m confident he can and will do that. The country is owed that.”