Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe

<p>The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.</p>

News 12 Staff

May 17, 2017, 11:08 PM

Updated 2,563 days ago

Share:

Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe
The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
The appointment gives Mueller, who led the FBI through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served under presidential administrations of both parties, sweeping powers to investigate whether Trump campaign associates colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome in his behalf, as well as the authority to prosecute any crimes uncovered during the probe. The broad mandate, beyond any specific Trump-Russia connection, also covers "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, facing scathing criticism for authoring a memo that preceded the firing last week of James Comey as FBI Director, said in a statement that Mueller's appointment was "necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome."
"What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation into the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command," Rosenstein said in a statement.
The appointment came amid a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the politically charged investigation.
It followed the revelation Tuesday that fired FBI Director James Comey had written in a memo that Trump, in a February meeting in the Oval Office, had asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The White House has denied that account.
Mueller was appointed FBI director in 2001 by President George W. Bush and stayed on beyond his 10-year term at the request of President Barack Obama, ultimately retiring in 2013.
The Justice Department said Mueller has resigned from his job at a private law firm to take the job of special counsel.
As special prosecutor, Mueller will have all the same powers as a U.S. attorney, though he will still ultimately report to Rosenstein. Still, he is not subject to the day-to-day supervision of the Justice Department. He can keep the same investigators in place, or request new or additional staff including from outside the department.
He will request a budget that includes personnel.
Rosenstein appointed Mueller under a statute that has been used only once, in 1999, when John C. Danforth was appointed to investigate allegations of government wrongdoing in the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
Danforth's investigation cost millions of dollars and included hundreds of interviews and a restaging of the final hours of the 51-day standoff with federal agents. He ultimately produced a 150-page report clearing then-Attorney General Janet Reno and other top government officials of any responsibility.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More from News 12
0:41
Family of dancer who died after eating cookie files lawsuit against Stew Leonard's, cookie manufacturer

Family of dancer who died after eating cookie files lawsuit against Stew Leonard's, cookie manufacturer

1:40
Sunny and warm today, showers possible Saturday night and Monday afternoon

Sunny and warm today, showers possible Saturday night and Monday afternoon

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

1:55
Memorial Day travel expected to be busiest since 2005

Memorial Day travel expected to be busiest since 2005

0:38
Filling in the Blanks receives $100,000 grant in Norwalk

Filling in the Blanks receives $100,000 grant in Norwalk

0:30
Congratulations to State Police 246th Patrol K9 class graduates

Congratulations to State Police 246th Patrol K9 class graduates

0:14
Bank robbery suspect apprehended in Bridgeport

Bank robbery suspect apprehended in Bridgeport

0:25
Infamous lawyer's law license suspension temporarily overturned

Infamous lawyer's law license suspension temporarily overturned

1:35
The Real Deal: How to save money on summer BBQ celebrations

The Real Deal: How to save money on summer BBQ celebrations

1:26
Could another round of 'orange skies' happen this summer?

Could another round of 'orange skies' happen this summer?

0:55
The East End: 1770 House Restaurant & Inn in East Hampton

The East End: 1770 House Restaurant & Inn in East Hampton

0:57
Friday marks five years since Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance

Friday marks five years since Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance

0:28
Officials: Man arrested for shooting wife and stepson in Stratford

Officials: Man arrested for shooting wife and stepson in Stratford

0:26
 Fire officials: 2 adults, 2 children hospitalized following day care fire in Brookfield

Fire officials: 2 adults, 2 children hospitalized following day care fire in Brookfield

0:28
 Court upholds conviction for criminal damage to property against former animal rescue president

Court upholds conviction for criminal damage to property against former animal rescue president

0:49
Lt. Gov Bysiewicz visits Milford boba tea store in effort to promote AAPI businesses

Lt. Gov Bysiewicz visits Milford boba tea store in effort to promote AAPI businesses

2:44
SHEAR HAPPINESS: 92-year-old Darien barber still cutting hair once a week

SHEAR HAPPINESS: 92-year-old Darien barber still cutting hair once a week

2:24
 CT and feds ask judge to break up Ticketmaster ‘monopoly’

CT and feds ask judge to break up Ticketmaster ‘monopoly’

1:57
Bridges Healthcare in Milford  urges public to stop stigma surrounding mental health treatment during Mental Health Awareness Month

Bridges Healthcare in Milford urges public to stop stigma surrounding mental health treatment during Mental Health Awareness Month

0:19
State DOT: I-95 SB lanes closed in Westport for maintenance, detour routes available

State DOT: I-95 SB lanes closed in Westport for maintenance, detour routes available