The US Department of Justice has assigned a former head of the FBI as special counsel to continue an investigation into alleged collusion between US President Donald Trump and Russia after his dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
According to Press TV, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Robert Mueller for the task on Wednesday.
“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,” Rosenstein said in a statement.
Mueller was at the helm of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 12 years, between 2001 and 2013.
Ties between Trump’s associates and the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition have been a source of contention in the US, with some lawmakers calling for Trump’s impeachment.
According to Rosenstein, Mueller ‘s assignment was meant “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” including “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”
“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Rosenstein wrote.