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So We Finally Got ‘Special Counsel’, But What Does That Really Mean?

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is now in charge, but will be overseen by D-AG

A Special Counsel has been named by the US Justice Department.
The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President #45’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in this 118-day-old presidency.

Justice Department seal_6462089_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
Seal of the US Department of Justice

Robert Muller is 6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, having served in office from September 4, 2001 til September 4, 2013 under Presidents George W. Bush
and Barack Obama and succeeded by Director James Comey.

In announcing the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation of The Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, said he made the decision because of the “unique circumstances of this matter.”

Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein

The choice for former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve, Rosenstein picked a FBI veteran with broad support on both sides with Democrats & Republicans and what us recognized as a stellar reputation. This move takes Justice Department leadership out of the scenario and clears the way for Mueller to have the resources to conduct the investigation, without seemingly an interruptions from Jeff “Yosemite Sam” Sessions.

While Many people use the term “special prosecutor”, or “independent counsel”. Muller, however is not strictly independent. Acting AG Rosenstein will still maintain the ability to fire Mueller. The special counsel has all of the powers of a federal prosecutor, but they will do their work outside of the regular chain of command in the Justice Department.

The appointment may also affect any potential ongoing congressional investigations.  It is also likely to take some pressure off of congressional Republicans who can now point to the special counsel as the only investigation that matters.

But please believe, this investigation will continue to loom large as time drifts closer and closer to 2018 Midterm Election Season.


Seal of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel
Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/q-a-what-is-a-special-counsel-1495068821
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_prosecutor

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