Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed veteran lawyer and former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel for the case of Russian interference in our electoral process, the possibility of collusion by the Trump campaign associates, and other related matters that may come up during the investigation. He has a broad commission to follow the evidence where it leads. He can issue subpoenas and will be able to bring indictments. FBI staff currently working on the investigation will continue working on it, and Mueller will be able to bring in others as needed.
Mueller was originally chosen to head the FBI in 2001 by President George W. Bush for a 10 year term. When his term ended, then president Barack Obama asked him to extend his tenure for another two years, in order to ensure continuity in law enforcement while two other heads of related agencies were changing at the same time.
Mueller's appointment has evoked nearly universal praise and even excitement -- "a breath of fresh air" is how one person described it. Several highly involved people have said that they could not think of a better choice. "Impeccable" is a word often heard, both to describe the choice as well as Mueller's qualifications and his integrity.
The White House was not notified until after Rosenstein had signed the letter of appointment, and a heads-up call to the White House was made less than an hour before the public announcement.
A statement soon after the announcement from Trump said: "A
thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no
collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this
matter concluding quickly."
However, a later tweet sent out by Trump called the appointment of a special counsel "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history."