Robert Mueller is appointed as Special Council in the Russia investigation

The Trump Timeline

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Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

The decision is made after pressure from FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, intelligence officials, and the media. It also serves as a bandaid to repair Rosenstein’s image after he was found to be covering for Donald Trump in the firing of James Comey the previous week.

Law experts are suspicious of the notice to Congress (above), believing it might actually exclude investigating Russian interference and focus solely on Trump campaign members.

Reading the specific provisions alone, there’s potentially an apparent, albeit subtle, narrowing of the investigation Comey announced. Comey, after all, announced three components of the investigation: (1) the Russian interference in the election, and subsidiary to that, (2) links between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and (3) coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian efforts. The order Rosenstein issued today could be read to leave out the Russian interference itself.



Photo: Ryan J. Reilly

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