After weeks of Democrats and other critics of President Trump demanding it, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein named Wednesday a special prosecutor in the investigation into alleged Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government before the 2016 election.
BREAKING: US Justice Dept. appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel for Russia investigation. pic.twitter.com/hkHnEfT2sC
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 17, 2017
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein explained why he appointed a special counsel for the investigation in a statement released to the press. “Considering the unique circumstances of this matter,” he said, “I have determined that a special counsel is necessary for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome.”
“Our nation is grounded in the rule of law and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly,” the statement continued. “Special Counsel Mueller will have the appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result.”
“Special Counsel Mueller has agreed to resign from his private law firm in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with firm clients or attorneys,” it concluded.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been demanding a special prosecutor in order to ensure the independence of the investigation, but many conservatives have pushed back against the suggestion, including Mark Levin. Some Republicans, however, joined the call for special counsel, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in February.