WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, to serve as a special counsel to oversee its investigation into Russian meddling in the election, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced on Wednesday.
The appointment of Mr. Mueller dramatically raises the stakes for President Trump in the multiple investigations into his campaign’s ties to the Russians. It follows a swiftly moving series of developments that have roiled Washington, including Mr. Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the disclosure that the president urged Mr. Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.
“I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination.”
— Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation, The New York Times (May 17, 2017).
I stand with the Deputy Attorney General. Appointing special counsel is an important step to being able to determine whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Were I POTUS, assured that there was no meddling in the election by Russia, I would welcome this–as well as any other non-partisan investigation–into the 2016 election. Good investigators are trained to separate the wheat from the chaff, unearthing relevant facts and revealing the narrative that remains.