Is Robert Mueller a Democrat or a Republican?

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Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a oversight hearing on Capitol Hill December 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, has been appointed special counsel in the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election. So where does Robert Mueller fall politically? Is he a Democrat or a Republican?

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According to a Washington Post article from July 2001, Mueller is a registered Republican, or at least he was at the time that this article was published. Mueller was nominated to his position of FBI director under George W. Bush.

However, while Mueller might personally hold conservative beliefs, that’s not to say that he’s necessarily a partisan figure. Mueller has earned support from both sides of the political aisle. In fact, that aforementioned Washington Post story notes that Mueller has been described as apolitical.

“Mueller, 56, is a registered Republican, yet a striking number of people describe him as apolitical,” The Washington Post said at the time. “A Justice Department senior staff meeting went quiet this year when Mueller ran through a list of people he considered qualified for top temporary jobs, most of them Democrats. It had never occurred to him that Democrats and the new Republican administration might not mesh.”

One sign of the fact that Mueller is respected by Democrats is the fact that when his term as FBI director ended in 2011, Barack Obama asked Mueller if he could stay on for an additional two years, even though this was beyond Mueller’s 10-year term. Mueller agreed and served until 2013.

“He has earned the confidence of two presidents for his ability to lead and his calmness under fire,” Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat, said when Mueller extended his stay at the FBI, according to the USA Today. “The United States faces ongoing threats from terrorists intent on attacking us both at home and abroad, and it is crucial that the FBI have sustained, strong leadership to confront that threat. There is no better person for that job than Bob Mueller.”

Mueller was also confirmed in 2001 as FBI director unanimously, with the Senate voting 98 to 0 to confirm him.

During Robert Mueller’s 2001 confirmation hearing, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin threw his support behind Mueller and said that all Democrats should do the same.

“I am very impressed with your credentials, and I am certain that I speak for the vast majority of senators, Democrat and Republican,” Durbin said. “We feel that you are the right person for the job, and it is a big job. We met in my office to talk about some aspects of it, and in a very brief time, I was impressed by your candor and your insight.”

In addition, when Robert Mueller was selected as special counsel today, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Twitter that he is a great pick.

“Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual to serve as special counsel in the Russia investigation,” Schumer said. “I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

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