'A calming influence' - Why one Republican says Mueller is right for Russia investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who this week was appointed as special counsel to investigate any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. (AP Photo/Rene Macura)

WASHINGTON -- Pat Meehan, a Republican from Delaware County, probably knows Robert Mueller better than most members of Congress.

As the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, Meehan worked with Mueller as members of the Corporate Fraud Task Force, created by President George W. Bush after the Enron scandal.

That experience, Meehan said Thursday, gives him confidence that Mueller, a former FBI director, is up to the politically charged task he just took on: investigating any potential ties between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“I think he will have a calming influence while going to work in a very serious and frankly expeditious way,” Meehan said after two weeks of explosive revelations and actions surrounding an FBI investigation into the issue and Trump’s decision to fire the agency’s director, James Comey.

“Bob was a remarkable leader when we were going through big issues like Enron,” Meehan said. “You could get buried in the weeds. He had an ability to get to the fundamental facts, drive to important legal conclusions, and, if appropriate, bring charges. And, if not, demonstrate why they aren’t justified and keep moving towards the objective.”

Meehan, who has said he did not vote for Trump and wrote in his running mate, Vice President Pence, said he hoped Mueller’s appointment would ease the turbulence in Washington after a series of reports and leaks that left the Capitol reeling, and sparked calls for impeachment from some Democrats and accusations of a witch hunt from Trump.

Meehan noted that Mueller has respect on both sides of the aisle, having been appointed by Bush and kept on by President Barack Obama.

“He is capable of both creating a sense of confidence in the American people that he is on the job and will do the job right, and it will also serve to contain, I believe, some of the activity that’s taking place around this issue, up to and including the leaks of information that constantly create more chaos,” Meehan said.


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