After a tumultuous week in the wake of James Comey’s firing, the Department of Justice has finally decided to appoint a special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election—Robert Mueller, former head of the FBI.
News of Mueller’s appointment broke near the end of the day Tuesday, as did a transcript of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying that in 2016 that thinks Putin “pays” Trump, in what is becoming a very fun and thrilling tradition. Truly, there is never a dull moment in these parts.
The Washington Post reports that the decision was made by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the same man who wrote the the memo used to validate Comey’s firing. NPR notes that Rosenstein has had the power to call for a special counsel in this investigation since March, when his boss, that demonic Keebler Elf Jeff Sessions, recused himself from the investigation after it was made public that he had two undisclosed conversations with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.
In a statement, Rosenstein made it clear that he’s not saying anyone’s guilty of anything just yet, but the circumstances clearly need someone a little more removed from the messy snakepit of drama, deceit and turmoil that is the White House in its current state.
“In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon 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.”
Mueller’s appointment as special counsel is regarded as a wise decision by many. The New York Times reports that Mueller is seen as one of the most “credible law enforcement officials in the country” on both sides of the aisle and is known for rolling up his sleeves and getting shit done while paying extremely close attention to detail — something this freaking investigation will certainly need.
Naturally, President Trump has weighed in with his thoughts on the matter, in a three-sentence statement that manages to cram in yet another reminder that this whole Russia collusion thing is hogwash—a perfectly normal thing for someone who is not lying to harp on, repeatedly, every time it comes up.
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know—there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” Trump wrote. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
According to reports from ABC News, the White House was given about thirty minutes’ notice that Rosenstein was even appointing a special counsel, making for what I assume was a very fun end of day. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!