Robert Mueller, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. The appointment was announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on 17 May 2017. Robert Swan “Bob” Mueller III served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 4 September 2001 to 4 September 2013.
Robert Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director by President George W. Bush on 5 July 2001. He served as Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice for several months, before officially becoming the FBI Director just one week before the September 11 attacks against the United States. On 4 September 2013, he was replaced by James Comey.
The United States Government’s intelligence agencies indicated towards Russian government’s interference in the 2016 United States elections. In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence community assessment expressed “high confidence” that Russia favoured Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. It also stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign” to denigrate and harm Clinton’s electoral chances and potential presidency. The report concluded that Russia used disinformation, data thefts, and leaks to attempt to advantage Trump over Clinton.
These conclusions were reaffirmed by the lead intelligence officials in the Trump administration in May 2017. On 7 October 2016, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly stated that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal email account and leaked their documents to WikiLeaks. In October 2016, former President Barack Obama used the red phone line to directly contact Putin and issue a warning to him regarding the cyber attacks. However, Russian officials repeatedly denied involvement in any DNC hacks or leaks.