Who Is Robert Mueller, Special Counsel Overseeing Russia Investigation?

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller arrives to attest before a House Judiciary Committee in 2013. The Justice Department announced Wednesday that Mueller will lead a FBI’s review into Russia’s nosiness in a 2016 election.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller arrives to attest before a House Judiciary Committee in 2013. The Justice Department announced Wednesday that Mueller will lead a FBI’s review into Russia’s nosiness in a 2016 election.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Robert Mueller, who has been allocated to hoop a review into Russian nosiness in a 2016 election, took a reins as FBI executive a week before a attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. That day would change his whole 12-year run heading a agency.

Mueller oversaw arguably a many poignant changes a century-old FBI had ever left through, and he perceived regard from lawmakers in both parties on Wednesday for his joining to justice.

Former FBI Director Mueller Appointed As Special Counsel To Oversee Russia Probe

“I had been a prosecutor before, so we expected spending time on open crime cases and narcotics cases and bank robberies and a like,” he told NPR in 2013. “And Sept. 11 altered all of that.”

Mueller overhauled a organisation to prioritize, first, a hazard of terrorism from groups like al-Qaida and a Taliban, and afterwards later, a hazard from people not dependent with any sold group, like a Tsarnaev brothers.

He altered thousands of agents from rapist investigations into counterterrorism and inhabitant security. He minute a changes in 2003, during an American Civil Liberties Union conference:

“The Sep 11 attacks opposite New York and Washington altered a march of history.

“They altered a definition of inhabitant confidence for a United States and dramatically shifted FBI priorities so that a impediment of militant attacks became a FBI’s tip priority and major focus.

“While we sojourn committed to a other critical inhabitant confidence and law coercion responsibilities, a impediment of terrorism takes dominance in a meditative and planning; in a employing and staffing; in a training and technologies; and, many importantly, in a investigations.”

As his 12-year run as executive was entrance to a close, Mueller also began prioritizing cyber threats.

John Pistole, Mueller’s former emissary executive during a FBI, told NPR nearby a finish of Mueller’s reign that it was tough to exaggerate a director’s footprint on a agency.

“He destined and implemented what is arguably a many poignant change in a FBI’s (entire) history,” Pistole said.

Still, notwithstanding enjoying extended support from both sides of a aisle, his reign with a FBI wasn’t but a issues. In a mid-2000s, there were calls to mangle adult a FBI, and in 2007, a Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General bloody a organisation for a data-gathering practices.

In a glowing editorial in 2011, The Washington Post editorial house praised Mueller’s response to those critiques, observant he altered “assertively to repair a problems.”

“It was not a initial time Mr. Mueller showed impression underneath fire,” a house wrote. “In 2002, after training of other agencies’ probable inquire abuses during a U.S. naval bottom during Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Mueller systematic FBI agents to stay transparent of such techniques. And in 2004, he assimilated other high-level law coercion officials in melancholy to renounce if a administration unsuccessful to residence authorised problems with a militant notice program.”

Among a other officials melancholy to renounce from a Justice Department during that time was James Comey. Comey did in fact renounce as emissary profession ubiquitous in 2005 and 7 years later, he was reliable as executive of a FBI. His banishment from that position on May 9 led Congress, mostly Democrats, to ratchet adult calls for a special questioner purpose Mueller is holding on. Comey’s exclusion cut brief a normal 10-year term.

Mueller eventually served 12 years, after President Obama asked Congress to extend his reign for dual additional years in 2011. The boss argued that a country’s inhabitant confidence agencies indispensable consistency, as a Pentagon and CIA were also removing new leaders during a time.

In a opinion that showed Mueller’s extended interest to Republicans and Democrats, Congress voted unanimously during a time to approve a request.

“The fact that some are personification politics does not meant that he’ll stop being law enforcement,” pronounced former Attorney General John Ashcroft on Wednesday. “Frankly, a barking dogs or a commotion of politics won’t impact what he does.”

Ashcroft, who worked closely with Mueller, combined that he used to call Mueller “Square-Jaw McGraw” since of his even-handedness. Within a FBI, Mueller became famous for his plain-spoken taciturnity.

Earlier in life, Mueller served as a U.S. Marine officer, and an partner U.S. profession in 3 opposite offices. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966, and perceived his law grade from a University of Virginia in 1973.

Former Justice Department prosecutor David Margolis once joked that Mueller could’ve been ideal for a different, lower-profile job.

“A pursuit he was innate for, and has spent his whole life scheming for, cavalcade instructor during Parris Island,” Margolis pronounced during an awards rite nearby a time Mueller left a FBI.

Even a routinely stoic Mueller pennyless into a giggle during that one.