Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election and rumors of collusion with the Trump campaign.
A copy of Rosenstein’s statement was posted by Time’s Zeke Miller.
Rosenstein: "In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest" to appoint special counsel pic.twitter.com/7DAfBWmFAj
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 17, 2017
Mueller was appointed FBI Director by President George W. Bush in 2001 and served an extra two years past his ten year term at the request of President Barack Obama and with the approval of Congress. Mueller served from September 4, 2001 to September 4, 2013 according to Wikipedia.
Mueller is good friends with his successor, now-fired FBI Director James Comey, according to a profile by Washingtonian published in 2013 with the headline, Forged Under Fire—Bob Mueller and Jim Comey’s Unusual Friendship.
The sun had already been up for over an hour by the time James Comey and Bob Mueller approached the West Wing of the White House shortly after 7 AM on March 12, 2004. Neither had slept much in the previous week. The weather was windy and cool; the thermometer hovered just over 40 degrees as they prepared to brief the president. The two-minute ride up from the Hoover Building to the White House complex that morning hadn’t left them much time to gather their thoughts, but there was still a level of calm about them as they alighted from the black Suburban on West Executive Drive, just steps from the Oval Office.
The enormous Old Executive Office Building, once home to the nation’s entire State and War Departments, loomed over the back of the SUV. A stream of White House staff passed back and forth between the two buildings, their coveted ID badges slipped into shirt pockets or dangling from their necks. At that hour, many were on the way to or from the White House mess, the navy’s small cafeteria in the basement of the executive mansion. Comey, introspective by instinct, paused for a moment, considering what lay ahead; Mueller, never much for reflection, did not.
As they crossed the threshold into the White House, both men fully expected it to be the last time they would enter the building, the last time they would brief the president, the last time their motorcade would pass through the White House gate without a pause, zipping past the Jersey barriers and gawking tourists straining to see through the tinted windows. Sitting in their desks at the Justice Department and the Bureau were letters of resignation, which they expected to submit over the weekend; a dozen other Justice and Bureau officials would join them. They would have submitted the letters already, except that the attorney general’s chief of staff had asked them to wait until the hospitalized John Ashcroft had recuperated enough to resign as well.
By Monday, Mueller and Comey believed, their security details would be gone; they’d be left alone to face what would inevitably be a media conflagration reminiscent of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973, when Richard Nixon had forced the dismissal of independent prosecutor Archibald Cox, which led to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, the former acting FBI director. This storm would be different: The entire leadership of the Justice Department and the FBI would go in one fell swoop over a controversy that no one would talk about and no one outside of a small group in government even knew that was brewing.
That dramatic week had united the two men—both career public servants—deepening a friendship forged in the crucible of the highest levels of the national security apparatus after the 9/11 attacks.