Deputy Attorney General Rod Rossenstein of The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russia investigation due to is role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate.
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Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director on July 5, 2001. He and two other candidates were up for the job at the time, but he was always considered the front runner. Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and veteran Chicago prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer Dan Webb were up for the job but both pulled out from consideration around mid-June. Confirmation hearings for Mueller, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were quickly set for July 30, only three days before his prostate cancer surgery. The vote on the Senate floor on August 2, 2001, passed unanimously, 98–0. He served as Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice for several months, before officially becoming the FBI Director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11 attacks against the United States.
On May 12, 2011, it was reported that President Obama had asked Director Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for another 2 years beyond his normal term, expiring on September 4, 2013. The Senate approved this request on July 27, 2011. On September 4, 2013, Mueller was replaced by James Comey.