As reported in the Washington Post:
“The Justice Department has decided to appoint a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian officials seeking to meddle in last year’s election, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to serve in the role, Rosenstein said. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel have increased since Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last week.
“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,’’ Rosenstein said in a statement. “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.’’
He said Mueller has agreed to resign from his private law firm to avoid any conflicts of interest.”
“Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. Democrats have challenged Rosenstein’s impartiality in the Russia probe because he wrote a memorandum used as the rationale for Comey’s firing. In the memo, Rosenstein said Comey had violated longstanding Justice Department practices in his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, but shortly after the announcement of the firing the president said he’d decided to fire Comey before he received the recommendation from Rosenstein.”