The Department of Justice named Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Grand Jury Investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 Presidential Election. Mueller has assembled a top team lawyers and investigators, numbering 16 leading experts so far, to take part in the investigation.
At 72, he served as FBI director from 2001 to 2013. Congress passed special legislation in 2011, extending Mueller’s tenure from 10 to 12 years. Following his work for the FBI, Mueller has been consulted in numerous high-level investigations.
In 2015, he lead an inquiry involving the domestic abuse case surrounding NFL running back Ray Rice. Last year, Mueller was asked to take charge of a security review when a government contractor was taken into custody on charges of stealing top secret material.
Mueller witnessed tremendous changes in the world following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He watched the rise of al Qaeda, the unprecedented expansion of US domestic surveillance powers as well as a marked spike in domestic terrorism. In 2013, Mueller expressed his view that the new intelligence gathering capabilities established since 2001 could have reduced the lethality of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon which shook the nation 16 years ago.
Mueller was involved in the investigation of a high profile incident with James Comey in 2004; a secretive conflict over the warrant-less wiretapping program that had been pushed forward by the Bush administration. Comey, as acting attorney general, (covering for a hospitalized John Ashcroft), refused to reauthorize the wiretapping program on the grounds that it was illegal.
The White House staff and counsel attempted to get Ashcroft’s authorization for the program- but Comey was able to stop them with quick and decisive action. The program was later reauthorized through alternative channels. Mueller’s record supported Comey’s account when the event came to light in 2007. Mueller joined Comey in the push to overhaul the wiretapping program.
A decorated Marine Corps veteran for his distinguished service in Vietnam, Mueller went on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia, according to his FBI biography. For 12 years, he worked in US attorney’s offices serving as criminal division chief for Northern California, and as assistant to the US Attorney in Massachusetts. Mueller’s time at the FBI brought a long career in law enforcement and public service to a distinguished conclusion.
He moved to the private sector briefly before returning to government in 1989 and quickly rose to the head of a major criminal division. In this capacity, Mueller witnessed the installation of some of the first cyber-crime units to enter government service.
Before joining the FBI in September of 2001, once he had departed the Justice Department, Mueller became San Francisco’s US attorney. He joined a private law firm after his departure from the FBI, and he will be resigning from the practice in order to assume the role of special counsel.
Mr. Mueller was born in August 1944 in New York City. He is married and has two daughters.