By Tal Kopan
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Justice Department on Wednesday named Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the department’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The former FBI director has a long history with investigations and prosecutions.
Mueller was former FBI director James Comey’s predecessor. President Donald Trump fired Comey last week.
The longtime litigator was the second-longest FBI director in history, only behind iconic and controversial director J. Edgar Hoover. Congress passed legislation in 2011 to extend Mueller’s term from the usual 10 years, giving him a 12-year tenure.
Mueller oversaw the FBI from September 4, 2001, just days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, until September 4, 2013.
The stint capped a long career working in law.
After decorated service in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, Mueller graduated from University of Virginia Law School, according to his FBI biography.
He worked for 12 years in the US attorney’s offices, serving for some time as chief of the criminal division in the Northern District of California in San Francisco, and also working as an assistant US attorney in Boston.
He worked for a time in the private sector before moving back into government as an assistant to the attorney general in 1989, moving quickly to run the department’s criminal division.
Prior to joining the FBI in 2001, Mueller served as the US attorney in San Francisco.
After leaving the FBI, Mueller joined private law firm WilmerHale.
Mueller is married and has two daughters.