Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has just released a public statement announcing that he has appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to supervise the investigation into Trump-Russia alleged collusion. Mueller was named FBI chief under George W. Bush and served under Obama as well.
DOJ Appoints Trump-Russia Special Counsel
The announcement comes a week after the DOJ said that there was no need for such an appointment. However, the department likely changed their mind when they heard about Trump’s intelligence leak to Russian diplomats. Furthermore, recent reports show that Trump has tried to convince fired FBI Director James Comey to drop the probe into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn’ ties to Moscow.
Rosenstein said that the nomination of a special counsel is in the American public’s interest. The assistant AG underlined that the move does not mean that a crime had been committed or that a prosecution had been warranted. He explained that the investigation should be overseen by a someone who “exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
New Special Counsel Is Ready to Roll
Rosenstein seemed confident Special Counsel Mueller would be able to complete the investigation and reach a result. He added that the freshly minted investigator would have at his disposal all the necessary resources for the probe.
According to an ABC News report, the new special counsel will have to submit to Rosenstein a budget draft for the investigation within 60 days. The budget will be approved by the Deputy Attorney General since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all Russia-Trump-linked matters.
In his new role, Muller will have all the prosecutorial and investigative powers of a U.S. attorney, ABC News noted. This means he will be allowed to issue subpoenas, coordinate federal agents, and ask for a grand jury’s opinion.
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