The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday evening former FBI director Robert Mueller will serve as a special counsel to oversee the FBI’s investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The investigation will also examine “related matters,” according to a release––indicating Mueller will look at possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.
It’s an official concession from the Justice Department that the Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election was an extraordinary circumstance, and that bringing in an outsider to oversee the investigation is in the public interest. Rod Rosenstein, the second-in-command at the Justice Department, made the decision. That’s because he oversees the Russia investigation, due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusing himself from it.
It’s not currently clear if the White House received notice the announcement was coming.