Childhood & Early Life
Robert Swan Mueller III was born to Alice C. Truesdale and Robert Swan Mueller Jr. on August 7, 1944, in the New York City borough of Manhattan. He is the eldest brother of his four younger sisters, Susan, Sandra, Joan and Patricia. His father worked with DuPont after serving as a Navy officer during World War II.
Mueller spent his childhood in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended the Princeton Country Day School till the eighth grade after which he moved with his family to Philadelphia. In the new city, he studied in St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He took interest in sports and soon became the captain of the soccer, lacrosse and hockey teams.
He enrolled with Princeton University and passed out in 1966 with B.A. in politics. In 1967, he attained his master’s in international relations from New York University. The following year, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer and received the Bronze Star with ‘V’ distinction for rescuing a wounded Marine. He also won two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
After completing his services with the Navy, he joined the University of Virginia School of Law and served on the Virginia Law Review. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1973.
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After passing out from the University of Virginia School of Law , Robert Mueller wanted to work with the United States Attorney's office but he failed to earn a position. So, he took up the job as a litigator at the firm ‘Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro’, in San Francisco until 1976.
In 1976, he became assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Northern California. In 1981, he was promoted to chief of the criminal division. The following year he relocated to Boston to work as an Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts. Here he worked on numerous cases involving financial fraud, international money laundering, corruption, narcotics and even terrorism. Later, he worked as the district's acting attorney for a year in 1986.
After a year-long stint at Boston law firm, ‘Hill and Barlow’, Mueller returned to the U.S. Department of Justice in 1989 as an assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. He was also the acting deputy Attorney General. In 1990, Mueller took over the criminal division. He led the prosecution of Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing case, and then went to form a unit dedicated to cyber security.
In 1990, Mueller took over the criminal division. He led the prosecution of Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing case, and then went to form a unit dedicated to cyber security.
In 1993, he joined the law firm ‘Hale and Dorr’ as a partner. The firm specialized in white-collar crime litigation.
He returned to public service two years later in 1995. He joined the District of Columbia United States Attorney's Office as a senior litigator in the homicide section. From 1998 to 2001, he worked as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.
On July 5, 2001, the then-president, George W. Bush. nominated Mueller for the position of FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) director. Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and Chicago prosecutor Dan Webb were also in the running for the same position. However, around mid-June, they both withdrew their names after which Mueller was appointed as FBI director on August 2, 2001, following a unanimous decision in his favour by the Senate.
He assumed office as the sixth FBI director on September 4, 2001, just a week before the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Holding an important position during an extremely crucial time, Robert Mueller decided to reorganize the bureau. He installed high-tech global operations created to tackle terrorist threats and insisted on expanding the surveillance system.
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His efforts at modernizing the FBI were recognized by President Barack Obama who offered him to extend his ten-year term by another two years in 2011. Mueller gladly accepted the offer and the Senate approved this request on July 27, 2011.
After completing his service with the FBI, he joined Stanford as a teacher. He also returned to his old company WilmerHale as a partner in 2014 and oversaw important cases, such as the NFL's controversial suspension of player Ray Rice over domestic abuse charges.
On May 17, 2017, Robert Mueller was appointed as a special counsel to investigate Russia’s involvement in any kind of manipulation of the 2016 presidential election results and possible links to President Donald Trump.
On October 30, 2017, he filed a series of charges against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates. Some of the charges included tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracy against the United States. Later, it was found that the former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has confessed to lying to the FBI about their contact with the Russians.
When former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, was investigated on December 1, 2017, he admitted to having lied to the FBI about conversations with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In his defence, he stated that he was only following orders of a “very senior member” of the presidential transition team.
On February 16, 2018, The Justice Department indicated that Mueller has filed a case of conspiracy to defraud the United States against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for their involvement in manipulating the 2016 presidential election. As per the charges, defendants allegedly made fake U.S. personas and promoted social media pages and lured American audiences in a "strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system."
President Donald Trump did not spare Mueller and admonished him through his tweet on May 20, 2018, that "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!"
Personal Life & Legacy
Robert Mueller met his wife, Ann Cabell Standish, at a high school party. Standish is the alumni of Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and then worked as a special-education teacher for children with learning disabilities.
The couple tied the knot in September 1966 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Together they have two daughters.
Mueller was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. In 2001, he underwent treatment for prostate cancer, as a result of which his Senate confirmation hearings were delayed.