FORMER FBI BOSS
Move raises the stakes in a crisis threatening to paralyse presidency
AFRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017
ANNIKA, Former Danish sex worker
FORMER Federal Bureau of Investigation chief was tasked on Wednesday with leading a beefed-up investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s team colluded with Russia to tilt last year’s election in his favour.
Trump responded by once again denying any links to Moscow, but the appointment of a special counsel with sweeping powers dramatically raises the stakes in a crisis threatening to paralyse his presidency.
The Republican leader, who has struggled to shake off suspicions that Russia helped put him in the White House, has been accused of seeking to block the investigation by sacking FBI chief James Comey.
Under pressure to provide guarantees to Congress and the public that the Russia probe will continue unhindered, Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein tapped Robert Mueller — a widely respected figure who headed the FBI for the decade after the 9/11 attacks — to take over the reins.
“Based on the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Rosenstein said in a statement.
A New York-born Vietnam War veteran, 72-year-old Mueller has a reputation as a tough lawman who once even stood up to a president.