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Brooklyn officials express confidence in choice of Mueller to investigate Trump

Velázquez: ‘He Certainly Has a Large Task Ahead of Him’

May 18, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III, appointed as special counsel to look into President Donald Trump’s associations with Russia, received high marks from Brooklyn officials. AP file photo by Evan Vucci
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Brooklyn elected officials expressed satisfaction after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel on Wednesday to investigate possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s associates and Russian officials.

Pols said former FBI Director Robert Mueller III, appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has an “impeccable” reputation. Mueller has been described by former associates as tough and principled. He served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013.

“I am pleased the Deputy Attorney General appointed a special counsel, something I have been calling for since December,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan) in a statement. “Mr. Mueller is well-suited for this role and brings the necessary impartiality and commitment to upholding the law.”

“He certainly has a large task ahead of him,” she added. “I will be watching carefully to ensure he has the resources he needs and that there is no political interference in his investigation.”

Velázquez said that she would continue to call on House Speaker Paul Ryan to allow a vote on legislation creating an independent commission to investigate as well.

“There are enough threads here to merit multiple investigative tracks. After all, these issues go to the heart of our democracy and we must use every possible tool to unearth all relevant facts,” she said.

In December, Velázquez was the first member of Congress to call for a special counsel, a request she repeated after Flynn’s resignation in February.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn and Queens) said Mueller’s appointment was an important step in the right direction.

“America can now have a greater degree of confidence that the investigation will be fair, impartial and comprehensive. No man is above the law in this country. If Donald Trump broke it, he must be vigorously prosecuted without fear or favor,” Jeffries said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, a Republican representing South Brooklyn and Staten Island, said he had “complete confidence in the FBI and Justice Department, along with the House and Senate committees.

“The public has a right to know what, if anything, happened, and if the appointment of a special counsel gets us there, then I support DOJ’s decision,” Donovan said. “Robert Mueller has an impeccable reputation and has served in administrations of both parties. I trust that he will analyze the facts and reach an unbiased and objective conclusion based on the evidence.”

Donovan, a former prosecutor, added, “Withholding judgment until an investigation concludes is crucial to a fair and impartial proceeding.”

The appointment of a special counsel comes after weeks of revelations surrounding Trump and his associates involving multiple contacts with Russian officials and their proxies, and an alleged attempt by Trump himself to influence former FBI Director Comey to drop the FBI’s active investigation into these ties. Trump has since fired Comey, who reportedly took detailed notes of his conversations with Trump.

In a tweet, Trump called the investigation “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

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