Image Credits: Getty Images
With all the talk of Russian interference in the 2016 election, it was time to put someone not connected to the problem in charge. Enter Robert Mueller, our new special prosecutor. While he is a familiar name to many of our parents and grandparents, he is likely new on the scene for anyone under the age of 25.
Born on August 7, 1944, the now 72-year-old New York City native Robert Swan Mueller went on to spend his adolescent years in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He attended Princeton University for his undergraduate degree before heading to New York University for a masters in international relations. Mueller would later get a law degree from the University of Virginia, though he took a break from his studies to serve his country in Vietnam as a member of the US Marine Corps Third Division. He fought bravely, earning the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
After law school, he jumped right into practice. He served in the criminal division of the US Attorney’s office and as an assistant US attorney in Boston. Mueller dallied in private practice and later served as an assistant to Attorney General Thornburgh under Presidents Bush and Reagan. He continued to move up the chain and lead the criminal division of the Justice Department.
Robert Mueller was the longest-serving FBI director since Hoover, the first FBI Director, which isn’t an easy feat. The FBI director is now legally limited to one ten-year term. Mueller did his job so well that Obama afforded him a two-year extension. Mueller was nominated by President George W Bush to lead the FBI and assumed his role on September 4, 2011, a mere week before the September 11th terrorist attacks that would shake our nation. During his confirmation process, it was announced that Mueller had prostate cancer. He underwent surgery and is still with us today Mueller stepped down from his post twelve years to the day that he started, rejoining civilian life on September 4, 2013. It is important to note that Mueller was appointed to his position with overwhelming bipartisan support. His Senate confirmation vote was an astounding 98-0 in favor of his appointment. Many of those Senators who confirmed him are still serving in the senate, including Mitch McConnell.
Speaking at the University of Virginia’s commencement in 2003, he told the graduates, “We must also not forget that we all have a national responsibility. Democracy is a form of government that thrives only by the interest and actions of its citizens. There is a debt of service from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured him.” That seems to be a sentiment Mueller is holding near and dear these days as he steps into his role as special prosecutor.
So, why a special prosecutor? It’s not quite as complicated as the media would have you believe. It certainly doesn’t spell the end for President Trump. As you might remember, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any Justice matters involving Russia. For all Russia matters, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is the go-to man. In a statement on May 17th, Rosenstein said:
“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.”
That means that the Justice Department wants to make sure everything in this investigation is above-board. They’ve brought in a man with an unimpeachable record. Mueller has served his country proudly and will do the due diligence to this investigation. Here are Mueller’s exact orders, as laid out by Rosenstein.
“The special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
Any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and indviduals 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 CFR 600.4 (a), including perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimation of witnesses.