The following is some background material regarding the recently appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is to lead the FBI’s Trump/ Russian probe. He was assigned by the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been an unwitting pawn in the firing of the FBI Director James Comey on 5/9/17, at the behest of the republican President Donald Trump who had been hoping to derail the Trump/ Russia saga investigations.
The rest of the story…
After Robert Mueller (now 72 years old) left the FBI (2001-2013), he spent a year as a consulting professor and lecturer at Stanford University, where he focused on cyber-security issues.
After Stanford, he joined the private law firm WilmerHale as a partner. He is expected to resign from the firm so he can avoid conflict of interests as he oversees the Russia investigation.
One of the highly publicized cases that Mr. Mueller took on, was one pertaining to the NFL and its handling of domestic abuse cases. As per the 1/8/15 NY Times report, “In Ray Rice Case, N.F.L. Chose Not to Ask Many Questions” by Ken Belson and Steve Eder, “An investigation into how the N.F.L. handled a domestic abuse case involving the former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice determined that the league was aware of the nature of the altercation but chose not to aggressively pursue additional information.”
“Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director chosen by the N.F.L. to determine how the league handled its investigation of the Rice case, released his findings Thursday January 2015).”
“The inquiry found that the N.F.L. and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, did not possess and had not seen a video that showed Mr. Rice punching his fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an elevator before Mr. Goodell’s suspension of Mr. Rice for two games in July.”
“But the league made little effort to pursue the case even after it “possessed substantial information suggesting a serious event had occurred inside the elevator,” the report said. The Ravens had received information about the video before the two-game suspension but did not share it with the league, the report said.”
Then there was the VW emissions case. As per the 1/11/16 Reuters article, “U.S. judge names ex-FBI director to help settle Volkswagen lawsuits” by Richard Shepardson, “A federal judge in California overseeing more than 500 lawsuits filed against German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) over its excess diesel emissions on Monday (January 2016) said he planned to name a former FBI director to help settle the cases.”
“U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he would name Robert S. Mueller, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as “settlement master” in the VW lawsuits.”
On 5/18/17, Carrie Johnson and Miles Parks of NPR penned the following report, “Who Is Robert Mueller, Special Counsel Overseeing Russia Investigation?”
“Robert Mueller, who has been appointed to handle the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, took the reins as FBI director a week before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. That day would influence his entire 12-year run leading the agency.”
“Mueller oversaw arguably the most significant changes the century-old FBI had ever gone through, and he received praise from lawmakers in both parties on Wednesday for his commitment to justice.”
“I had been a prosecutor before, so I anticipated spending time on public corruption cases and narcotics cases and bank robberies and the like,”he told NPR in 2013. “And Sept. 11 changed all of that.”
“Mueller overhauled the agency to prioritize, first, the threat of terrorism from groups like al-Qaida and the Taliban, and then later, the threat from individuals not affiliated with any particular group, like the Tsarnaev brothers.”
“He moved thousands of agents from criminal investigations into counter-terrorism and national security. He detailed the changes in 2003, at an American Civil Liberties Union conference:”
“The September 11 attacks against New York and Washington changed the course of history.
“They changed the meaning of national security for the United States and dramatically shifted FBI priorities so that the prevention of terrorist attacks became the FBI’s top priority and overriding focus.
“While we remain committed to our other important national security and law enforcement responsibilities, the prevention of terrorism takes precedence in our thinking and planning; in our hiring and staffing; in our training and technologies; and, most importantly, in our investigations.”
“As his 12-year run as director was coming to a close, Mueller also began prioritizing cyber threats.”
“John Pistole, Mueller’s former deputy director at the FBI, told NPR near the end of Mueller’s term that it was hard to overstate the director’s footprint on the agency.”
“He directed and implemented what is arguably the most significant change in the FBI’s (entire) history,” Pistole said.”
“Still, despite enjoying broad support from both sides of the aisle, his tenure with the FBI wasn’t without its issues. In the mid-2000s, there were calls to break up the FBI, and in 2007, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General blasted the agency for its data-gathering practices.”
“It was not the first time Mr. Mueller showed character under fire,” the board wrote. “In 2002, after learning of other agencies’ possible interrogation abuses at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Mueller ordered FBI agents to stay clear of such techniques. And in 2004, he joined other high-level law enforcement officials in threatening to resign if the administration failed to address legal problems with the terrorist surveillance program.”
“Among the other officials threatening to resign from the Justice Department at that time was James Comey. Comey did in fact resign as deputy attorney general in 2005 and seven years later, he was confirmed as director of the FBI. His firing from that position on May 9, 2017 led Congress, to ratchet up calls for the special investigator role Mueller is taking on.”
“Mueller ultimately served 12 years, after President Obama asked Congress to extend his term for two extra years in 2011. The president argued that the country’s national security agencies needed consistency, as the Pentagon and CIA were also getting new leaders at the time.”
“(The former US Attorney General) “Ashcroft, who worked closely with Mueller, added that he used to call Mueller “Square-Jaw McGraw” because of his even-handedness. Within the FBI, Mueller became known for his gruff taciturnity.”
“Earlier in life, Mueller served as a U.S. Marine officer, and an assistant U.S. attorney in three different offices. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973.”