(WASHINGTON) — Robert Mueller, who was announced late Wednesday afternoon as the special counsel to spearhead the FBI’s investigation into Russian connections to the 2016 election “and related
matters,” has a long history within the organization.
He served as the FBI director from Sept. 2001 until Sept. 2013, directly preceding James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last week.
Mueller and Comey worked together in the past: The two were together during the dramatic hospital showdown in 2004 when they wanted to stop then-Attorney General John Ashcroft from reauthorizing
then-President George Bush’s domestic surveillance program. Comey testified about the incident in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007, and it is widely cited as an example of Comey’s
Mueller was nominated to run the FBI by Bush and Mueller assumed the position on Sept. 4, 2001, seven days before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Mueller has been back in the spotlight more recently, too.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell put Mueller in charge of the investigation into the domestic assault incident involving Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice in 2014.
According to his profile on the FBI website, he served in the marine corps and was a part of the rifle platoon in Vietnam. His profile says that he has received the Bronze Star, two Navy
Commendation medals, and a Purple Heart.
He went to Princeton University for his undergraduate degree and the University of Virginiafor law school after his military service.
Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco before working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California’s Northern District and later in Boston where he worked as Assistant U.S. Attorney,
according to the FBI profile.
He later returned to U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco before being nominated for his job at the FBI.
The Department of Justice reports that Mueller is resigning from his law firm in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with firm clients or attorneys.
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