Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III was appointed Wednesday as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, giving him wide latitude to explore potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement he was naming a special counsel due to the inquiry’s “unique circumstances.” The public interest, he said, “requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
Mr. Rosenstein had the authority to appoint the special counsel because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any aspects of investigations involving the 2016 election following reports he hadn’t disclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador last year. Mr. Rosenstein has been overseeing the investigation ever since.
The initial reaction from Capitol Hill to Mr. Mueller’s appointment was largely positive. Some Republicans viewed the appointment with something akin to relief.
Rep. Ryan Costello (R., Pa.) said the appointment removes pressure from Congress since lawmakers have been asked daily for their thoughts on how the investigation should be handled. “It takes it off the table for the time being,” Mr. Costello said.
Mr. Costello also spoke highly of Mr. Mueller. “I think that his record from, what I understand, is unimpeachable in terms of his integrity and experience,” he said.
Democrats agreed. “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chamber’s Democratic leader. “I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.”
But not everyone was on board. “I don’t see the need for one,” said Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican. “To me, it’s a bad precedent to set, if any time there’s an investigation of an administration, you have to have a special counsel. These guys go on forever.”
What’s the Real Mission?
- Republicans and Trump want to pacify the media and get this nonsense behind them.
- Democrats want this to drag on forever.
Peter King is correct in his assessment “These guys go on forever.”
As a byproduct of point number two, numerous witch hunts will take place as Democrats will want to investigate every lead, no matter how ridiculous.
The budget is open-ended and there are no time limits. The witch hunt could conceivably last for the duration of Trump’s presidency.
Much of Trump’s agenda will be on indefinite hold as the progress, or lack thereof, as the story unfolds.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock