The Department of Justice has appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election—Former FBI Director Robert Muller.
Muller led the FBI for 12 years, between September 4, 2001 and September 4, 2013.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein says Mueller will oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and investigations into allege ties between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign.
“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,” Rosenstein said. “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.”
President Trump issued the following statement: “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.”
The appointment followed a rapid series of dramatic events which include Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, and “the disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.”