Former FBI director named special counsel to oversee Russia probe
Updated: 2017-05-18 08:43:47
FBI Director Robert Mueller pauses after making an opening statement at the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, US on June 19, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - The US Justice Department on Wednesday named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and related matters.
"Considering the unique circumstance of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome," said US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a statement.
Meanwhile, Rosenstein stressed that the appointment did not indicate a finding that "crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted."
According to an appointment order released by the US Justice Department, Mueller, who served as FBI director between September, 2001 and September, 2013, will have the authority to investigate whether the Russian government colluded with individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump and to prosecute federal crimes uncovered in the probe.