In the history of the FBI, only one man—other than its founding director—has ever fulfilled a full, 10-year term as its director: Robert Mueller.
Former FBI Director James Comey's predecessor will now take on a new roll as the lead investigator into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the decision Wednesday evening with the following statement:
In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter.
My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.
Each year, the career professionals of the U.S. Department of Justice conduct tens of thousands of criminal investigations and handle countless other matters without regard to partisan political considerations. I have great confidence in the independence and integrity of our people and our processes.
Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.
Special Counsel 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.
Rosenstein's order states Mueller is authorized to "conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20," including:
- "Any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump"
- "Any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation"
- "Any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a)"
The former FBI director is further authorized to "prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters." The liberal mainstream media questioned whether or not the president influenced Rosenstein's decision, but it's much more likely the fact that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is being considered for the full-time job forced his hand.
McCabe is one of four finalists for the job who have been interviewed by the president. The others are:
- Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Ct.)
- Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating
- Former career FBI agent Paul Abbate executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch by Mueller
Trump is expected to name Comey's successor as early as Thursday before he departs for the first overseas trip of his presidency.
Within minutes of the special counsel announcement, congressional Democrats were celebrating as they might have celebrated winning the election last November. They soon came back to the ground when they recalled Mueller's no-nonsense approach to law enforcement and criminal investigations.
If Mueller finds nothing, his past leadership suggests he's not going to invent something to keep his investigation going. In the past nine months of digging—in an environment rife with leaks of anything remotely incriminating—there has been absolutely no evidence to support the "Russian Narrative."
Also, unlike his successor at the FBI, and the current acting director at the bureau, Mueller is not a political animal. He's a former Vietnam War hero—from which he received the Bronze star, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry as a rifle platoon leader with the 3rd Marine Division—who has spent the majority of his adult life as a career prosecutor.
He served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts during the Reagan administration. He served as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division during the George H.W. Bush administration. And, he was U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California during the Clinton administration.
He prosecuted a number of high-profile individuals, including:
- Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega
- The Libyan perpetrators of the Pan Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland
- Gambino crime family boss John Gotti
President George W. Bush named him acting Deputy Attorney General for the first five months of his presidency before nominating him to succeed Louis Freeh as FBI director. Mueller was confirmed by the Senate on a 98-0 vote, and began his term of service one week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In the wake of those attacks, he stood up against immense political pressure from the Bush White House to approve of warrantless wiretapping of Americans alongside Comey and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, and threatened to resign in protest. His actions, which weren't politically popular in Washington at the time, resulted in revisions to the proposal to protect Americans' freedom.
The White House issued the following statement from the president:
"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."
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