On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller to be the special counselor to oversee the the investigation into any ties between Trump's campaign and Russia, reported the New York Times. The decision was made by deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein — who was initially cited by Trump surrogates as the one who suggested FBI Director James Comey be fired. Trump later admitted to NBC's Lester Holt he made the decision on his own.
Mueller's appointment has already received bipartisan praise and support and he's been called the best person for the job.
Here are a few reasons why people are applauding Mueller in this position.
The 72-year-old served as the bureau’s director from September 4, 2001, to September 4, 2013. Although Mueller’s term was set to be over in 2011, former President Obama asked him to stay on for a couple additional years and he agreed.
Senators passed legislation extending Mueller’s term by an impressive 100-0 vote. Although Mueller is reportedly registered as a Republican, he has been widely celebrated for being a nonpolitical figure — which is a much needed characteristic for the leader of the Russia investigation.
Philip Mudd, the former deputy director of the FBI's national security branch under Mueller, told CNN Mueller is the perfect person for the job.
"He is not one of the best, Robert Mueller, he is the best I ever saw. Leadership, judgment, decision-making," Mudd told CNN. "There is nobody better at doggedly pursuing a target without being subjected to any pressures from Congress, the President, the media, anybody in the FBI, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general. There is nobody better."
In 2004, the Justice Department said domestic wiretapping without a warrant was unconstitutional. James Comey — who was the acting Attorney General because then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized — refused to reauthorize Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.
Both Mueller and Comey threatened to leave if the president overruled the finding of the Justice Department.
This is important because Mueller's job in this investigation will be to honor and serve the Constitution, not the president.
After graduating from Princeton, Mueller served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
In an interview with the University of Virginia School of Law, Mueller detailed why he decided to join to Corps.
“I have been very lucky,” he told UVA. “I always felt I should spend some time paying it back. One of the reasons I went into the Marine Corps was because we lost a very good friend, a Marine in Vietnam, who was a year ahead of me at Princeton. There were a number of us who felt we should follow his example and at least go into the service. And it flows from there.”
Mueller left the Marine Corps with a Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and two Navy commendation medals.
(Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)