Sunday, May 28, 2017

Politico — What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey

The two men who could bring down the president have been preparing their entire lives for this moment.

Robert Mueller joined the Marine Corp. in 1968.  During the Vietnam War he led a combat platoon before completing a law degree at the University of Virginia in 1973.

Since then, Mueller has been a lifelong career prosecutor. His work has been mostly in Washington’s justice department spending most of his career working his way up the ladder: U.S. Attorney's offices, head of the criminal division for the U.S. Department of Justice under George H.W. Bush, Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush, and then elevated to director of the FBI. Mueller became the longest-serving FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover, completing a 10-year term.

He was so needed and respected that his service was extended for another two years by President Obama with the approval of a bipartisan act of Congress.

Mueller is completely apolitical, nonpartisan, and respected by both Democrats and Republicans. Long-time colleague David Kris has described him as “experienced, knowledgeable, capable" and "utterly incorruptible. He cannot be intimidated.”

While the head of the justice department's criminal division from 1990 to 1993 he oversaw the investigation into the 1988 Pan Am airline bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the drug case against former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

He led the probe into the 1991 collapse of the Luxembourg-registered Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Mueller started his term as director of the FBI the week prior to 9/11. On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, when the World Trade Center's Twin Towers were attacked, he was in the Hoover Building for his first briefing on al Qaeda.

Mueller led the FBI through dramatic periods of change. At the time of 9/11, the FBI was, for the most part, a domestic law enforcement agency. He transformed it into a global intelligence agency focused on counterterrorism. Towards the end of his career, the FBI began to address Cyber Crimes and the “transnational nature” of global

Mueller left the FBI at the end of his 12-year term. In September 2013 he signed up with Walmart Hale, a Washington law firm. According to Graff, Bob Mueller was the person a company calls when they have really badly screwed up and need someone beyond reproach to come in, investigate, and make recommendations.

Robert Mueller led the investigation into the handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident in 2014. The 2015 report he produced is being called the best analog for what might be expected of Mueller as special counsel. It was just an incredibly thorough investigation built from scratch. When you read his report about that incidence, five pages of the report deal with just how the NFL headquarters receives mail and signs for packages. I think in the course of this, Bob Mueller figured out things about the NFL mailroom that the NFL mailroom staff didn’t know, said Graff.

The Trump administration needs to be concerned not just about what happened in the past, but the actions that they have taken and will take over the course of special counsel’s investigation.

I would say if Trump is guilty of some wrongdoing he should be very concerned that Mueller is special counsel. There is no-one who will get to be the bottom of the Trump-Russia problem if there is one, better that Robert Mueller.

What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey

By Garrett M. Graff