Just hours after a bombshell Associated Press report that called into further question whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been telling the truth about the league’s handling of the Ray Rice saga, Goodell announced that former FBI director Robert Mueller III will conduct an independent investigation into the league’s information-gathering during the case.
Mueller’s appointment comes amid a growing chorus calling for Goodell to resign over his handling of the case.
Here’s what you need to know about Mueller:
1. Mueller Ran the FBI for 12 Years
Mueller, pictured above at his Senate confirmation hearing in July 2001, was FBI director from September 2001 through September 2013, serving under both President George W. Bush, who appointed him, and President Barack Obama.
His first day on the job was September 4, 2001 — exactly a week before the September 11 terrorist attacks that reshaped the country’s intelligence and law enforcement operations.
2. He Served in the Marine Corps
Mueller led a rifle platoon in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, winning a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Gallantry Cross.
3. He’s Had a Long Career as a Lawyer
Mueller, 70, has had a long career as a lawyer in both the public and private sectors. After getting his law degree from the University of Virginia, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a litigator before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office in the district of Northern California. He worked in both the private and public sectors in Boston during the 1980s and went to Washington to work as an assistant to Dick Thornburgh, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.
He’s now a partner at the Washington-based law firm WilmerHale.
4. The Owners of the Giants & Steelers Will Oversee the Investigation
5. Mueller Will Have Access to All NFL Records
Mueller will have access to all NFL records and will make his findings public at the conclusion of the investigation.
The probe is similar to that run by another former FBI director, Louis Freeh, who ran an independent investigation of Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal in 2012.