Robert Mueller

Robert Swan Mueller III (/ˈmʌlər/; born August 7, 1944) is an American attorney who served as the sixth director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), from 2001 to 2013. Between 2017 and 2019, he was the Special Counsel of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters.

A graduate of Princeton University and New York University, Mueller served as a Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam War, receiving a Bronze Star for heroism and Purple Heart. He subsequently attended the University of Virginia School of Law. Mueller is a registered Republican in Washington, D.C., and was appointed and reappointed to Senate-confirmed positions by Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[3][4]

He has spent the bulk of his career in government service, serving at times as an assistant United States attorney; a United States attorney; United States assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division; a homicide prosecutor in Washington, D.C.; acting United States deputy attorney general; and director of the FBI. Mueller was a partner at the D.C. law firm WilmerHale before being appointed as special counsel.

On May 17, 2017, Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as special counsel overseeing an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters.[5] Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, 2019 which officially ended the investigation on Russian influence in the 2016 United States presidential election.[6]

Robert Mueller
Director Robert S. Mueller- III
Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice
In office
May 17, 2017 – March 22, 2019
Appointed byRod Rosenstein
6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
DeputyThomas J. Pickard
Bruce J. Gebhardt
John S. Pistole
Timothy P. Murphy
Sean M. Joyce
Preceded byLouis Freeh
Succeeded byJames Comey
Acting United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
January 20, 2001 – May 10, 2001
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byEric Holder
Succeeded byLarry Thompson
United States Attorney for the Northern District of California
In office
1998–2001
PresidentBill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded byMichael Yamaguchi
Succeeded byKevin V. Ryan
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
In office
1990–1993
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Preceded byEdward Dennis
Succeeded byJo Ann Harris
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
In office
1986–1987
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byBill Weld
Succeeded byFrank L. McNamara Jr.
Personal details
Born
Robert Swan Mueller III

August 7, 1944 (age 74)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
Spouse(s)
Ann Cabell Standish (m. 1966)
Children2
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
New York University (MA)
University of Virginia (JD)
Signature
Robert Mueller's signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1968–1971[2]
RankUS Marine O3 shoulderboard.svg Captain
UnitH Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division
CommandsPlatoon commander
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsBronze Star (with valor)
Purple Heart Medal
Navy Commendation Medal (2) (with valor)
Combat Action Ribbon
South Vietnam Gallantry Cross

Early life and education

Mueller was born at Doctors Hospital in the New York City borough of Manhattan,[7][8] the first child of Alice C. Truesdale (1920–2007) and Robert Swan Mueller, Jr. (1916–2007). He has four younger sisters: Susan, Sandra, Joan, and Patricia.[9] His father was an executive with DuPont who had served as a Navy officer in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters during World War II.[9]

Mueller is of German, English and Scottish descent. His paternal great-grandfather, Gustave A. Mueller, was a prominent doctor in Pittsburgh, whose own father August C. E. Müller had immigrated to the United States in 1855 from the Province of Pomerania in the Kingdom of Prussia (a historical territory whose area included land now part of Poland and north-eastern edge of Germany).[10] On his mother's side, he is a great-grandson of the railroad executive William Truesdale.[11]

Mueller grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where he attended Princeton Country Day School, now known as Princeton Day School. After he completed eighth grade, his family moved to Philadelphia while Mueller himself went on to attend St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, where he was captain of the soccer, hockey, and lacrosse teams and won the Gordon Medal as the school's top athlete in 1962.[12][13] A lacrosse teammate and classmate at St. Paul's School was future Massachusetts Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry.[14]

Mueller went on to study at Princeton University, where he continued to play lacrosse,[15] receiving a Bachelor of Arts in politics with a senior thesis on jurisdiction in the South West Africa cases in 1966.[15] Mueller earned a Master of Arts in international relations from New York University in 1967.

In 1968, Mueller joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He has cited his teammate David Spencer Hackett's death in the Vietnam War as an influence on his decision to pursue military service.[16] Of his classmate, Mueller has said, "One of the reasons I went into the Marine Corps was because we lost a very good friend, a Marine in Vietnam, who was a year ahead of me at Princeton. There were a number of us who felt we should follow his example and at least go into the service. And it flows from there."[17] Hackett was a Marine Corps first lieutenant in the infantry and was killed in 1967 in Quảng Trị Province by small arms fire.[18]

After his military service, Mueller enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Virginia Law Review and graduated in 1973.[19]

United States Marine Corps service

After waiting a year so a knee injury could heal, Mueller was accepted for officer training in the United States Marine Corps in 1968, attending training at Parris Island, Officer Candidate School, Army Ranger School, and Army jump school. Of all these, he said later that he considered Ranger School the most valuable. "[It] more than anything teaches you about how you react with no sleep and nothing to eat."[20][21]

Lt Robert S. Mueller, USMC
Lt Robert S. Mueller, USMC

In July 1968, he was sent to South Vietnam, where he served as a rifle platoon leader with Second Platoon, H Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.[8][22] On December 11, 1968, during an engagement in Operation Scotland II, he earned the Bronze Star with "V" device for combat valor for rescuing a wounded Marine under enemy fire during an ambush in which he saw half of his platoon become casualties.[23][24][25] In April 1969, he received an enemy gunshot wound in the thigh, recovered, and returned to lead his platoon until June 1969.[26] For his service in and during the Vietnam War, his military decorations and awards include: the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", Purple Heart Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat "V", Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Parachutist Badge.[8][26][21][27]

After recuperating at a field hospital near Da Hong, Mueller became aide-de-camp to 3rd Marine Division's commanding general, then-Major General William K. Jones, where he "significantly contributed to the rapport" Jones had with other officers, according to one report.[20][28] Mueller had originally considered making the Marines his career, but he explained later that he found non-combat life in the Corps to be unexciting.[21]

Reflecting on his service in the Vietnam War, Mueller said, "I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have made it out of Vietnam. There were many—many—who did not. And perhaps because I did survive Vietnam, I have always felt compelled to contribute."[29] In 2009, he told a writer that despite his other accomplishments he was still "most proud the Marine Corps deemed me worthy of leading other Marines."[21]

After returning from Vietnam, Mueller was briefly stationed at Henderson Hall, before leaving active-duty service in August 1970.[28] He obtained his bronze star medal with combat valor as a second lieutenant, while his last rank was captain[28]

Early career

After receiving his Juris Doctor in 1973 from the University of Virginia School of Law, Mueller worked as a litigator at the firm Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro in San Francisco until 1976. He then served for 12 years in United States Attorney offices. He first worked in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco,[20] where he rose to be chief of the criminal division, and in 1982, he moved to Boston to work in the office of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts as an Assistant United States Attorney,[8] where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorism and public corruption cases, as well as narcotics conspiracies and international money launderers.[30]

After serving as a partner at the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow, Mueller returned to government service. In 1989, he served in the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and as acting Deputy Attorney General. James Baker, with whom he worked on national security matters, said he had "an appreciation for the Constitution and the rule of law".[31]:33–34

In 1990 he became the United States Assistant Attorney General in charge of the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division.[20] During his tenure, he oversaw prosecutions including that of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie bombing) case, and of the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti.[32]

In 1991, he declared the government had been investigating the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) since 1986 in more-than-usual media exposure.[33] Also in 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.[8]

In 1993, Mueller became a partner at Boston's Hale and Dorr, specializing in white-collar crime litigation.[20] He returned to public service in 1995 as senior litigator in the homicide section of the District of Columbia United States Attorney's Office. In 1998, Mueller was named U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and held that position until 2001.[8]

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

President George W. Bush nominated Mueller for the position of FBI director on July 5, 2001.[34] He and two other candidates, Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and veteran Chicago prosecutor and white-collar crime defense lawyer Dan Webb, were up for the job, but Mueller, described at the time as a conservative Republican,[35][36] was always considered the front-runner.[37] Terwilliger and Webb both pulled out from consideration around mid-June, while confirmation hearings for Mueller before the Senate Judiciary Committee were quickly set for July 30, only three days before his prostate cancer surgery.[38][39]

Robert S. Mueller official portrait
Official portrait, circa 2001

The Senate unanimously confirmed Mueller as FBI director on August 2, 2001, voting 98–0 in favor of his appointment.[40] He had previously served as acting deputy attorney general of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for several months before officially becoming the FBI director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.[8]

President Announces Steps to Keep America's Children Safe
Mueller with President George Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft, August 6, 2002

On February 11, 2003, one month before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Mueller gave testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Mueller informed the American public that "[s]even countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism—Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, and North Korea—remain active in the United States and continue to support terrorist groups that have targeted Americans. As Director Tenet has pointed out, Secretary Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its weapons of mass destruction, willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community. Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material."[41][42] Highlighting this worry in February 2003, FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley wrote an open letter to Mueller in which she warned that "the bureau will [not] be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq"[43][44] and encouraged Mueller to "share [her concerns] with the President and Attorney General."[44]

On March 10, 2004, while United States Attorney General John Ashcroft was at the George Washington University Hospital for gallbladder surgery,[45] James Comey, the then deputy attorney general, received a call from Ashcroft's wife informing him that White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales were about to visit Ashcroft to convince him to renew a program of warrantless wiretapping under the Terrorist Surveillance Program which the DOJ ruled unconstitutional.[45] Ashcroft refused to sign, as he had previously agreed, but the following day the White House renewed the program anyway.[45] Mueller and Comey then threatened to resign.[46] On March 12, 2004, after private, individual meetings with Mueller and Comey at the White House, the president supported changing the program to satisfy the concerns of Mueller, Ashcroft, and Comey.[31]:289–290[46]

President George W. Bush is presented with an honorary FBI Special Agent credential by FBI Director Robert Mueller
President Bush is presented with an honorary FBI Special Agent credential, 2008

He was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004.[28][47]

As director, Mueller also barred FBI personnel from participating in enhanced interrogations with the CIA.[48][49] At a dinner, Mueller defended an attorney (Thomas Wilner) who had been attacked for his role in defending Kuwaiti detainees. Mueller stood up, raised his glass, and said, "I toast Tom Wilner. He's doing what an American should." However, the White House pushed back, encouraging more vigorous methods of pursuing and interrogating terror suspects. When Bush confronted Mueller to ask him to round up more terrorists in the U.S., Mueller responded, saying, "If they [suspects] don't commit a crime, it would be difficult to identify and isolate" them. Vice President Dick Cheney objected, by saying, "That's just not good enough. We're hearing this too much from the FBI."[31]:157, 205, 270

In May 2011, President Barack Obama asked Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for two additional years beyond his normal 10-year term, which would have expired on September 4, 2011.[50] The Senate approved this request 100–0 on July 27, 2011.[51][52] On September 4, 2013, Mueller was replaced by James Comey.[53]

In June 2013, Mueller defended NSA surveillance programs in testimony before a House Judiciary Committee hearing.[54] He said that surveillance programs could have "derailed" the September 11 attacks.[55][56] Congressman John Conyers disagreed: "I am not persuaded that that makes it OK to collect every call."[56] Mueller also testified that the government's surveillance programs complied "in full with U.S. law and with basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution".[57] He said that "We are taking all necessary steps to hold Edward Snowden responsible for these disclosures."[58]

On June 19, 2017, in the case of Arar v. Ashcroft, Mueller, along with Ashcroft and former Immigration and Naturalization Services Commissioner James W. Ziglar and others, was shielded from civil liability by the Supreme Court for post-9/11 detention of Muslims under policies then brought into place.[59]

Return to private sector

White House meeting on Boston Marathon bombing investigation
Mueller at the White House in April 2013, discussing the Boston Marathon bombing, with (from left) President Obama, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of CIA John O. Brennan, and Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

After leaving the FBI in 2013, Mueller served a one-year term as consulting professor and the Arthur and Frank Payne distinguished lecturer at Stanford University, where he focused on issues related to cybersecurity.[60]

In addition to his speaking and teaching roles, Mueller also joined the law firm WilmerHale as a partner in its Washington office in 2014.[61] Among other roles at the firm, he oversaw the independent investigation into the NFL's conduct surrounding the video that appeared to show NFL player Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée.[62] In January 2016, he was appointed as Settlement Master in the U.S. consumer litigation over the Volkswagen emissions scandal; as of May 11, 2017, the scandal has resulted in $11.2 billion in customer settlements.[63]

On October 19, 2016, Mueller began an external review of "security, personnel, and management processes and practices" at government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton after Harold T. Martin III was indicted for massive data theft from the National Security Agency.[64] On April 6, 2017, he was appointed as Special Master for disbursement of $850 million and $125 million for automakers and consumers, respectively, affected by rupture-prone Takata airbags.[65]

Mueller received the 2016 Thayer Award for public service from the United States Military Academy.[66] In June 2017, he received the Baker Award for intelligence and national security contributions from the nonprofit Intelligence and National Security Alliance.[67]

Special Counsel for the Department of Justice

Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters.pdf
"Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election and Related Matters", by then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On May 16, 2017, Mueller interviewed with President Trump to again serve as the Director of the FBI but was not hired.[68] The next day, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice. In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".[69]

Mueller's appointment to oversee the investigation immediately garnered widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.[70][71] Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives and prominent conservative political commentator, stated via Twitter that "Robert Mueller is a superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity."[72] Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said, "Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead." Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) stated, "former FBI dir. Mueller is well qualified to oversee this probe".[70] Some, however, were quick to point out an alleged conflict of interest. "The federal code could not be clearer—Mueller is compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey," Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who first called for Mueller to step down over the summer, said in a statement to Fox News. "The appearance of a conflict is enough to put Mueller in violation of the code. … All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger."[73]

Upon his appointment as Special Counsel, Mueller and two colleagues (former FBI agent Aaron Zebley[74] and former assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force James L. Quarles III) resigned from WilmerHale.[75] On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[76] The spokesperson for the special counsel is Peter Carr, who told NBC News that Mueller has taken an active role in managing the inquiry.[77] In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller if he were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of James Comey.[78]

On June 14, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Mueller's office is also investigating President Trump personally for possible obstruction of justice, in reference to the Russian probe.[79] The report was questioned by Trump's legal team attorney Jay Sekulow, who said on June 18 on NBC's Meet the Press, "The President is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction, period."[80] Due to the central role of the Trump family in the campaign, the transition, and the White House, the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is also under scrutiny by Mueller.[81] Also in June, Trump allegedly ordered the firing of Robert Mueller, but backed down when then-White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit.[82]

During a discussion about national security at the Aspen security conference, on July 21, 2017, former CIA director John Brennan reaffirmed his support for Mueller and called for members of Congress to resist if Trump fires Mueller. He also said it was "the obligation of some executive-branch officials to refuse to carry out some of these orders that, again, are inconsistent with what this country is all about".[83] After the firing of Peter Strzok, a central investigator for Mueller, for alleged partiality, Senator Mark Warner, the Ranking Member of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a speech on December 20, 2017, before the Senate warned of a constitutional crisis if the President fired Mueller.[84] On June 22, 2018, Warner hosted a fundraising party for 100 guests and was quoted there saying, "If you get me one more glass of wine, I'll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you've seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It's going to be a wild couple of months."[85]

On October 30, 2017, Mueller filed charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. The 12 charges include conspiracy to launder money, violations of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and conspiracy against the United States.[86]

On December 1, 2017, Mueller reached a plea agreement with former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to giving false testimony to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.[87] As part of Flynn's negotiations, his son, Michael G. Flynn, is not expected to be charged, and Flynn is prepared to testify that high-level officials on Trump's team directed him to make contact with the Russians.[88][89][90] On February 16, 2018, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and 3 Russian companies for attempting to trick Americans into consuming Russian propaganda that targeted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton[91] and later President-elect Donald Trump.[92]

On February 20, 2018, Mueller charged attorney Alex van der Zwaan with making false statements in the Russia probe.[93][94][95]

On May 20, 2018, President Donald Trump criticized Mueller, tweeting "the World's most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!"[96] Mueller started investigating the August 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and an emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The emissary offered help to the Trump presidential campaign.[97][96] Mueller is also investigating the Trump campaign's possible ties to Turkey, Qatar, Israel, and China.[98]

On December 18, 2018, the Washington Post published an article concerning a report prepared for the U.S. Senate which stated that Russian disinformation teams had targeted Special Counsel Robert Mueller.[99]

On March 22, 2019, Robert Mueller concluded his investigation and submitted the Special Counsel's final report to Attorney General William Barr.[100] A senior Department of Justice official said that the report did not recommend any new indictments.[6] On March 24, Attorney General William Barr submitted a summary of findings to the United States Congress and stated in his letter, "The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election." Mueller's report also reportedly did not take a stance on whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice, with Barr stating "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."[101]

Personal life

Mueller met his future wife, Ann Cabell Standish, at a high school party when they were 17.[102] Standish attended Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut, and Sarah Lawrence College, before working as a special-education teacher for children with learning disabilities.[103] In September 1966, they married at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.[104][105] They have two daughters and three grandchildren.[106] One of their daughters was born with spina bifida.[107]

In 2001, Mueller's Senate confirmation hearings to head the FBI were delayed several months while he underwent treatment for prostate cancer.[108] He was diagnosed in the fall of 2000, postponing being sworn in as FBI director until he received a good prognosis from his physician.[109]

Although raised Presbyterian, he became an Episcopalian later in life.[110]

Mueller and Bill Barr—the attorney general who supervised the late stage of Mueller's special counsel investigation—have known each other since the 1980s and have been described as good friends. Mueller attended the weddings of two of Barr's daughters, and their wives attend Bible study together.[111]

Military awards

Mueller received the following military awards and decorations:[27]

Bronze Star Medal ribbon with "V" device, 1st award
Purple Heart ribbon
V
Gold star
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon National Defense Service Medal ribbon
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross ribbonBronze-service-star-3d.png Civil Actions Medal(Individual Award) Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp
USMC Rifle Marksman badge USMC Pistol Expert badge Ranger Tab US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge-vector
Bronze Star w/Combat V
Purple Heart Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ Combat V and gold star Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation National Defense Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 bronze campaign stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ bronze star Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal
Marksmanship badge for rifle Expert marksmanship badge for pistol
Ranger tab U.S Military basic Parachutist badge

References

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Further reading

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Bill Weld
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
Acting

1986–1987
Succeeded by
Frank L. McNamara
Preceded by
Edward Dennis
United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Jo Ann Harris
Preceded by
Michael Yamaguchi
United States Attorney for the Northern District of California
1998–2001
Succeeded by
Kevin Ryan
Preceded by
Eric Holder
United States Deputy Attorney General
Acting

2001
Succeeded by
Larry Thompson
Government offices
Preceded by
Louis Freeh
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
1993–2001
Succeeded by
James Comey
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gary Sinise
Recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award
2016
Succeeded by
George W. Bush
2005 Los Angeles bomb plot

The 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot was a 2005 effort by a group of ex-convicts calling themselves Jamiyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh to bomb several military bases, a number of synagogues, and an Israeli consulate in California.On 31 August 2005, Kevin James and three other men were indicted on terrorism charges related to conspiracy to attack military facilities in the Los Angeles area and of attempting to fund their campaign by robbing gas stations in Southern California over the previous three months. Kevin James, a Muslim convert, was accused of founding a radical Islamic group called J.I.S (Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheehجمعية الإسلام الصحيح , Arabic for "Assembly of Authentic Islam") from his cell in Folsom Prison in California, and of recruiting fellow inmates to join his mission to kill infidels.The announcement of the arrests was made by the Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales in the presence of the director of the FBI Robert Mueller in Washington D.C. Robert Mueller mentioned the incident in a "Major Executive Speech" in June 2006 on the day that the 2006 Sears Tower plot was announced. The Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI outlined the case in his congressional testimony in September 2006.

Andrew Weissmann

Andrew Weissmann (born c. 1958) is an American attorney. Since 2015 he has been the chief of the criminal fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice. In June 2017 he was appointed to a management role on the 2017 special counsel team headed by Robert Mueller. To assume that position, Weissmann took a leave from his DOJ post.

Andy Biggs

Andrew Steven Biggs (born November 7, 1958) is an American politician and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 5th congressional district. The district includes most of the East Valley, covering most of Mesa and Chandler and all of Queen Creek and his hometown of Gilbert.

Previously, he was a member of the Arizona Senate representing the 12th District from 2011 to 2017 (numbered as the 22nd District from 2011 to 2013) and a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing the 22nd District from 2003 to 2011. He was President of the Arizona Senate from 2013 to 2017.

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport

Austin–Bergstrom International Airport or ABIA (IATA: AUS, ICAO: KAUS, FAA LID: AUS, formerly BSM) is a Class C international airport located in Austin, Texas, United States (the capital of Texas), and serving the Greater Austin metropolitan area.

Located about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Downtown Austin, it covers 4,242 acres (1,717 ha) and has two runways and three helipads. It is on the site of what was Bergstrom Air Force Base. The airport and Air Force base were named after Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, an officer who served with the 19th Bombardment Group. The airport replaced Robert Mueller Municipal Airport as Austin's main airport.

The airport is the fourth busiest in Texas after Dallas/Fort Worth, Dallas–Love and Houston–Intercontinental. Currently, there are over 250 daily arrivals and 260 daily departures on the typical weekday to 76 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Filiberto Ojeda Ríos

Filiberto Ojeda Ríos (April 26, 1933 – September 23, 2005) was the commander-in-chief ("Responsable General") of the Boricua Popular Army (Ejército Popular Boricua, a.k.a., Los Macheteros). According to an unsigned article in the Los Angeles Times, Los Macheteros was "a group seeking Puerto Rico's independence." The group campaigned for, and supported, the independence of Puerto Rico from the United States. In 2001, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh claimed the group was linked to acts of terrorism, but Ronald Fernandez, scholar of Puerto Rican history, suggests such labeling was an act of political convenience by the United States Government, intended to "shift the blame for any attacks on U.S. policy or personnel from us to them". Ríos was also a founder of the FALN. In a 1983 New York Times article, Robert McFadden described the FALN as a Puerto Rican terrorist organization responsible for bombings during the 1970s and early 1980s "in the name of Puerto Rican independence".Ojeda Ríos was a fugitive from 1990 to 2005, wanted by the FBI for his role in the 1983 Wells Fargo depot robbery in West Hartford, Connecticut, as well as a bail bond default on 23 September 1990, a date that coincided with the anniversary of the Puerto Rican pro-independence uprising known as El Grito de Lares. On this date in 2005, FBI agents shot him from outside his house while he was playing his trumpet, and he was left there in his room bleeding to death after the FBI entered the house where he was living in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. The FBI operation was questioned by local Puerto Rican authorities as well as international organizations.

The killing of Ojeda Ríos was mourned by members of the Puerto Rican Independence movement and by some Puerto Ricans in general, who have expressed their indignation through repeated protests. Some members of the statehood movement and supporters of the Commonwealth also joined in the criticism of the federal handling of the FBI's shooting incident.

In late March 2006, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice sued federal authorities, including FBI Director Robert Mueller and US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, seeking an injunction to force the federal government authorities to provide the Commonwealth government with information related to the operation in which Ojeda Ríos died, as well as another one in which the FBI searched the homes of independence supporters affiliated with Los Macheteros. A US District Court judge ruled against the Puerto Rico Department of Justice. The case was subsequently appealed to a federal appeals court which ruled that "disclosing information on the Ojeda raid 'would reveal how the FBI goes about capturing a fugitive who is believed to be dangerous.'" The Commonwealth Government then took the case to the United States Supreme Court but "the Supreme Court...refused to consider [the] lawsuit by Puerto Rico seeking FBI files in the killing of Puerto Rican independence supporter Filiberto Ojeda Rios."In response to questions raised in media accounts and by public officials in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Robert Mueller requested an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice. The resulting report concluded that "the FBI agents’ use of force in the Ojeda operation did not violate the Department of Justice Deadly Force Policy" and that Ojeda Ríos had initiated the exchange of gunfire. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission subsequently conducted its own investigation of the incident and issued a report on 22 September 2011 wherein the Commission called Ojeda Ríos's death an "illegal killing".

Granger House and The Perch

The Granger House and The Perch are a pair of historic homes in central Austin, Texas. The "Granger House" was built by local architect (and Austin native) Charles Granger in 1952, preceded by a smaller residence known as "The Perch" in 1945. Both buildings feature a distinctive boxy Mid-Century modern style, unique in the local neighborhood, that is today almost unaltered from their original appearance.

Granger was notable for starting the Fehr and Granger architectural firm, which produced many notable Austin buildings after World War II, including the award-winning Robert Mueller Municipal Airport.Present owners Jeff Harper and Mark Seeger have undertaken a renovation of the buildings intent on preserving the mid-century style.

The homes are located at 805 West 16th street. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Guccifer 2.0

"Guccifer 2.0" is a persona which claimed to be the hacker(s) that hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer network and then leaked its documents to the media, the website WikiLeaks, and a conference event. According to indictments in February 2018, the persona is operated by Russian military intelligence (GRU). Some of the documents Guccifer 2.0 released to the media appear to be forgeries cobbled together from public information and previous hacks, which had been salted with disinformation. On July 13, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 GRU agents for allegedly perpetrating the cyberattacks.The U.S. Intelligence Community concluded that some of the genuine leaks that Guccifer 2.0 has said were part of a series of cyberattacks on the DNC were committed by two Russian intelligence groups. This conclusion is based on analyses conducted by various private sector cybersecurity individuals and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Fireeye's Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, Trend Micro, and the security editor for Ars Technica. The Russian government denies involvement in the theft, and "Guccifer 2.0" denied links to Russia. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that multiple parties had access to DNC emails and that there was "no proof" that Russia was behind the attack. According to various cybersecurity firms and U.S. government officials, Guccifer 2.0 is a persona that was created by Russian intelligence services to cover for their interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In March 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over investigation of Guccifer 2.0 from the FBI while it was reported that forensic determination had found the Guccifer 2.0 persona to be a "particular military intelligence directorate (GRU) officer working out of the agency’s headquarters on Grizodubovoy Street in Moscow".

Jacob Wohl

Jacob Wohl (born December 12, 1997) is an American far-right conspiracy theorist, fraudster, and internet troll. He was formerly an online blogger and a columnist for the website The Gateway Pundit. Wohl drew national attention in 2018 after news outlets reported his involvement in a failed plot to discredit Robert Mueller, the U.S. Special Counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, by attempting to frame him for sexual misconduct.The National Futures Association (NFA) banned Wohl for life in 2017. The NFA had received investor complaints about his activity, and upon completing its investigation, concluded that Wohl was guilty of refusing to cooperate with the NFA as required, misrepresenting investments and misleading investors. Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) charged Wohl with 14 counts of securities fraud in the same year, and forced him to pay $32,919 in restitution.Wohl has created and promulgated a number of false or unfounded claims and conspiracy theories, mainly against Democratic Party politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Ilhan Omar. On February 26, 2019, Twitter permanently suspended Wohl for violating its rules regarding creating and operating fake accounts.

Josh Campbell

Josh Campbell (born August 31, 1983) is an American journalist and analyst with CNN, and teaches national security at the University of Southern California. He previously served as a Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation conducting national security and criminal investigations. His assignments included: deploying in response to international terrorist attacks and kidnappings, overseas tours embedded with the CIA, U.S. Special Operations Command, and Department of State, crisis communication manager for high-profile cyber investigations, and was appointed Special Assistant to former FBI Director James Comey.

He is known for covering breaking news events involving national security matters, as well as analysis of developments in the ongoing Special Counsel investigation into potential ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and the government of Russia. In addition to on-air work, he regularly contributes to CNN.com, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today.Campbell grew up in Texas, and received a B.A. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. He received an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and completed the Middlebury College Arabic language immersion program. Campbell is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations and an officer in the Navy Reserve.On February 2, 2018, Campbell published an op-ed in The New York Times entitled "Why I Am Leaving the FBI", which outlined his criticism of current attacks on the FBI by the Donald Trump administration and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. He has remained a vocal critic of efforts to undermine the Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation and has defended the Justice Department from political attacks.Algonquin Books announced it has acquired rights to a forthcoming book by Campbell offering an FBI insider's perspective on the Trump administration's campaign of attack against the embattled agency.

Mueller Community

Mueller is a 711-acre (288 ha) Planned Unit Development (PUD) in the east-central portion of the city of Austin, Texas, United States. The project is in the process of long-term development on the former site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, which was closed in 1999 upon the opening of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in southeast Austin, itself a civilian adaptation of Bergstrom Air Force Base after its closure in the early 1990s. Mueller is intended to be a pedestrian-oriented, interactive mixed-use community, and a model for responsible urban planning and development.

Robert Mueller Municipal Airport

Robert Mueller Municipal Airport ( "Miller") was the first civilian airport built in Austin, Texas, operating from 1930 to 1999. It was replaced as Greater Austin's main airport by the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Located a few miles northeast of downtown Austin, the airport was named after Robert Mueller, a city commissioner who had died while in office in January 1927. Mueller was identified with the three letter "AUS" airport code and this "AUS" code was then assigned to the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in 1999.

Rod Rosenstein

Rod Jay Rosenstein (; born January 13, 1965) is an American attorney serving as United States Deputy Attorney General since 2017. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation's longest-serving U.S. Attorney. Rosenstein had also been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2007, but his nomination was never considered by the U.S. Senate.President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. Rosenstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2017. In May 2017, he authored a memo that President Trump cited as the basis for his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.Following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections and related matters. Rosenstein previously assumed authority over the parallel FBI probe after the recusal of former attorney general Jeff Sessions over misleading remarks he made to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary during his confirmation process. On November 7, 2018, Trump transferred command of this oversight to acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Saturday Night Live (season 44)

The forty-fourth season of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live premiered on September 29, 2018 during the 2018–19 television season with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West.

Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644) is a proposed United States law that would impose restrictions on the firing of a special counsel appointed by the United States Attorney General.

Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019)

The Special Counsel investigation of 2017 to 2019 (also referred to as the Mueller probe, the Mueller investigation, or the Russia investigation) was a United States law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. According to its authorizing document which was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17, 2017, the investigation's scope included the allegation that there were links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government as well as "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". The scope of the investigation also included potential obstruction of justice by Trump and others. Conducted by the Department of Justice Special Counsel's Office headed by Robert Mueller, a Republican and former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Special Counsel investigation began eight days after President Trump dismissed FBI director James Comey, who was leading existing FBI investigations since July 2016 into links between Trump associates and Russian officials. Following Comey's firing, over 130 Democratic lawmakers in Congress called for the appointment of a special counsel, while the FBI began investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. The special counsel's office took over both these investigations from the FBI.The investigation resulted in dozens of indictments for federal crimes and at least eight guilty pleas or convictions. In August 2018, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight felony counts of financial crimes in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and a month later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruct justice in a plea bargain for his full cooperation with prosecutors. The investigation also led to Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI, and as part of a December 2017 plea deal, he is required to be a cooperating witness in the investigations. Mueller further secured guilty pleas from Manafort's business partner Rick Gates, Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, lobbyist W. Samuel Patten and Richard Pinedo. Except Van der Zwaan, all have become cooperating witnesses for investigators. In February 2018, Mueller indicted 13 Russian citizens and three Russian entities, most notably the Internet Research Agency and in June 2018 added an indictment of Konstantin Kilimnik, Manafort's business partner. In July 2018, 12 members of the Russian GRU cyber espionage group known as Fancy Bear, responsible for the 2016 DNC email hacking, were indicted. Investigations into Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen were referred to the Attorney's office of the Southern District of New York. Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was indicted on seven charges in January 2019.While enjoying bipartisan support, the Special Counsel investigation became subject to criticism by Trump and his supporters. Trump has criticized people or groups related to the investigation over 1,000 times. On January 30, 2019, an FBI court filing revealed that someone located in Russia was also attempting to discredit the Special Counsel investigation through Twitter. Russian people have also sent falsified documents to reporters. Some allegations of investigators' misconduct have been raised and were almost immediately debunked. Trump and his supporters criticized the cost of the investigation. By December 2018, the investigation had cost approximately $25 million while gaining approximately $48 million through asset forfeitures.The Special Counsel's office concluded its investigation and submitted the final report to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, 2019. On March 24, Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress highlighting the special counsel's findings regarding Russian interference and obstruction of justice. Barr came to the conclusion that on the question of Russian interference in the election, Mueller detailed two ways in which Russia attempted to influence the election in Trump's favor—disinformation and influence operations through the Internet Research Agency, and Russian cyberattacks targeting the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign—but "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." On the question of obstruction of justice, Barr said no conclusion was reached within the special counsel, noting that Mueller wrote "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." Barr goes on to say the report identified "no actions that, in [his and Rosenstein's] judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent." Barr additionally stated the Justice Department would be "in a position to move forward expeditiously" in releasing information after identifying material which by law cannot be made public.

Toledo terror plot

In February 2006, three men in Toledo, Ohio (Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, and Wassim Mazloum) were arrested and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in Iraq and engage in violent jihad in their home town, as well as making verbal threats against the President of the United States. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Toledo Joint Terrorism Task Force, with the cooperation of an informant called 'The Trainer' who has a U.S. military background in security. The Cleveland FBI Special Agent in Charge C. Frank Figliuzzi and the U.S. attorney's general office credited the local Muslim and Arab-American community for passing along the information that lead to the arrest of the three terror suspects.During a February 2006 press briefing in Washington, DC, in the presence of the Deputy Director of the FBI John Pistole, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales accused the men of educating themselves on how to make and use explosives and suicide bomb vests by downloading videos off the internet, seeking firearm training, conspiring to provide terrorist funds abroad by using Mazloum's car dealership as a cover for traveling to and from Iraq, and making verbal threats against the President of the United States.

This plot was mentioned as one of three examples of homegrown terrorism in a speech by the director of the FBI Robert Mueller on 23 June 2006 on the morning that the Miami bomb plot to attack the Sears Tower was announced.On 15 December 2007 Mohammad Zaki and two cousins Zubair Ahmed, Khaleel Ahmed, received indictments on further terrorism charges of conspiring to kill, kidnap or maim persons outside of the United States, including US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, including taking weapons training, doing bodybuilding exercises and taking steroids, allegedly to prepare for attacks.A 2011 NPR report claimed some of the people associated with this group were imprisoned in a highly restrictive communication management unit.

Troublemaker Studios

Troublemaker Studios is a film production company founded and owned by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and producer Elizabeth Avellán. The company is based in Austin, Texas and is located at the former site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. It also shares space with Austin Studios, which is managed by the Austin Film Society, and houses production offices, sound stages and the largest green screen in Texas.

The company's visual effects division, Troublemaker Digital, is also located at the site, and uses six-core AMD Opteron processors and FirePro graphics accelerators on many of its productions. A second facility, Troublemaker Sound, is located in the hill country outside Austin. It provides post-production sound and editing facilities, including a mixing and dubbing sound stage powered by a large Pro Tools installation, and a full Avid Unity-based editing system.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (known as WilmerHale) is an American "BigLaw" firm with offices across the United States, Europe and Asia. It was created in 2004, through the merger of the Boston-based firm, Hale and Dorr and the Washington-based firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering; and employs more than 1,000 attorneys worldwide. WilmerHale ranked 2nd in the nation in American Lawyer's A-List of top BigLaw firms, and the firm is one of the most selective law firms in the United States for incoming associates. WilmerHale is known for its connections to the federal government; many of the firm's attorneys have experience in the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Executive Office of the President, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal agencies. Notably, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was partner at WilmerHale's Washington office before being hired as Special Counsel to the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. Other attorneys at WilmerHale include Seth Waxman, former Solicitor General of the United States; Ken Salazar, former United States Senator from Colorado and United States Secretary of the Interior; and Jamie Gorelick, former United States Deputy Attorney General. According to one study examining political donations by large white shoe firms, WilmerHale was ranked as the most liberal out of the top twenty most prestigious law firms in the nation.

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