National Security

Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Involvement During the 2016 Election Appointed

“One thing is for sure—the appointment of Robert Mueller removes most of the political gamesmanship and grandstanding we have seen ever since President Trump took office.”

In an effort to get the Russia-Trump controversy settled and allow the government to concentrate on matters of serving the public, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. Mueller will oversee the federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. His selection as special counsel was met with praise from both sides on Capitol Hill.

Top Republicans and Democrats issued statements approving of the the choice of Mueller and expressing confidence he would get to the bottom of the matter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said,

“A special counsel is very much needed in this situation, and former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member on the House intelligence committee stated,

“The decision to appoint a special counsel is a very positive step forward. Bob Mueller is a respected former director of the FBI who knows the bureau inside and out and enjoys a superb reputation among members of both parties. His appointment will help reestablish public confidence that the FBI investigation into the Russian active measures campaign during the presidential election and any involvement of US persons will be thorough and any prosecutorial decisions that result are based on sound and independent judgment. The appointment of a special counsel is not a substitute for a vigorous investigation in Congress, and the House Intelligence Committee will take steps to make sure our investigations do not conflict and ensure the success of both efforts. We will also want to make certain that the special counsel has all the resources it needs to undertake this important task.”

Leaders of both parties weighed in on the appointment of Mueller with confidence he would do the job correctly and without bias.

Mueller was director of the FBI from September 4, 2001, through Sept. 4, 2013. He served as the FBI Director two years beyond his ten-year term. Mueller was the second longest-serving FBI director in the bureau’s history with only J. Edgar Hoover holding the post longer.

Power of the Special Counsel

Robert Mueller has all the same powers as a United States district attorney. This includes the ability to conduct a thorough investigation of potential crimes committed, issue subpoenas, and ultimately file charges.

The law states that the counsel shall “exercise, within the scope of his or her jurisdiction, the full power and independent authority to exercise all investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States attorney.”

Mueller’s powers are quite broad. As the law states, he has the authority to subpoena records and other items pertaining to his investigation. Mueller also has the authority to create his staff to help with his investigation.

With all the controversy surrounding this investigation, the appointment of a special counsel is a good idea. Mueller will investigate and follow the facts where they lead without interference. His appointment will allow the president to focus on the business of being president and let the chips fall where they may.

One thing is for sure—the appointment of Robert Mueller removes most of the political gamesmanship and grandstanding we have seen ever since President Trump took office. Politics needs to be removed from investigations, and Robert Mueller will do just that.

Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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