On Wednesday, the Justice Department named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential race. As you might expect, the media immediately zeroed in on Mueller’s background.
MSNBC first noted that Mueller served for twelve years as FBI director under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. The network also noted his service in the Marine Corps and how both he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who made the Wednesday announcement, both served as U.S. attorneys.
The cable news outlet pointed out that Mueller would not be “completely independent, like we used to have in the old days. Special prosecutors are still subject to the control of the Justice Department.”
However, MSNBC added that “it’s much more independent — it’s much more separated from the political appointees — than it would have been if Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, had continued to be the ultimate decision maker about this investigation.”
CNN posted its own biography of Mueller on Wednesday. The news channel detailed that “after decorated service in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, Mueller graduated from University of Virginia Law School.” He subsequently “worked for 12 years in the US attorney’s offices, serving for some time as chief of the criminal division in the Northern District of California in San Francisco, and also working as an assistant US attorney in Boston.”
It should be pointed out that Mueller and his successor, James Comey, when the latter was serving as deputy attorney, offered to resign in 2004 if the Bush White House overruled DOJ and “reauthorize[d]…[the] domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal.”
Then Attorney General John Ashcroft sided with Mueller and Comey, which led to the White House making changes to their proposal. Neither man ended up resigning once the changes were made.
When President Obama nominated Comey as FBI director, Mueller praised the former as “a man of honesty, dedication and integrity. His experience, his judgment, and his strong sense of duty will benefit not only the Bureau, but the country as a whole.”
[image via screengrab]
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