Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian influence on the 2016 election and any ties to President Donald Trump is bringing praise from all sides.
The White House released a statement from Trump that didn’t mention Mueller by name but expressed support for the appointment.
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
Key Republicans, both Trump supporters and critics, offered universal praise. (Washington Post)
Robert Mueller is a great choice for special counsel- confident he'll fully investigate all aspects of Russia’s interference in our election
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) May 18, 2017
Mr. Mueller is widely respected for independence & professionalism. I have full confidence he will conduct a fair & thorough investigation
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 17, 2017
I have faith Mueller will provide the independence needed to ensure this investigation is conducted with the trust of the American people.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) May 17, 2017
I have complete confidence in his ability to conduct a thorough investigation, wherever the facts may lead.
— Peter Roskam (@PeterRoskam) May 18, 2017
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the generally pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, called it “a prudent move, and it certainly means that the administration is taking it seriously.”
But he suggested Mueller “comes with more credibility on the Democrat side than on the Republican side,” a remark he said was based on “sworn testimony that he’s given here on Capitol Hill since I’ve been here.”
Speaker Ryan said in a statement, “The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent” with the goal “to follow the facts whereever they may lead.”
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 17, 2017
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said “People are going to have their passions fired up out here, but I hope this restores some trust in the American people that we’ll get to the right answers.” (Roll Call)
One of Trump’s most steadfast allies, New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, said Mueller’s appointment came as a relief, saying the pressure was now off of congressional Republicans to comment on the need for a special prosecutor.
“The one positive development would be that we don’t have to answer that question anymore,” Collins said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote that the appointment “confirms that the investigation into Russian intervention into our election will continue.” He added, “The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will also continue its investigation into this matter.”
My statement on DAG Rosenstein's decisions to appoint a special counsel pic.twitter.com/s7i5LjPcg1
— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) May 17, 2017
On the Democrat side, Mueller was called “unimpeachable” by Rep. Jim Hines. (Washington Post) Interesting choice of wording.
“There’s not anybody with as much credibility internally or whose integrity is as unimpeachable as Bob Mueller,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Mueller “exactly the right kind of individual.”
Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual to serve as special counsel in the Russia investigation.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 17, 2017
Even uber-liberals like Sen. Kamala Harris had something–not negative–to say.
A Special Counsel was appointed because of your voices and a free press. Keep speaking up.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 18, 2017
Sen. Elizabeth Warren cautioned that Mueller will need “total authority” to complete the investigation.
For Mr. Mueller to succeed, he needs total authority to pursue this investigation – completely free of any hint of political interference.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 18, 2017
With a huge amount of goodwill by lawmakers and respect from all quarters, Mueller should have a good start in his task. If Trump can keep his nose clean (and so far, fingers-crossed, he has kept off Twitter), possibly this investigation can be completed and behind him, saving his presidency by the orange-tinted skin of his teeth.
Mueller’s appointment may well be the best possible outcome in the razor-filled trap pit of bad outcomes.