Former SF Attorney General appointed as special counsel to Russia investigation

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A bombshell announcement from the nation's capitol came Wednesday as the man who was once a US attorney general in San Francisco is now tasked with investigating President Donald Trump's ties to Russia. (KGO-TV)

A bombshell announcement from the nation's capitol came Wednesday as the man who was once a US attorney general in San Francisco is now tasked with investigating President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

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At one point, Robert Mueller served as U.S. attorney in San Francisco. Not one person ABC7 News spoke to on or off camera could say anything negative about Mueller. The prevailing sentiment is that he is the perfect person for the job.

"I think it's great. I think by temperament, by integrity, by background, by experience and by commitment, nobody better than Bob Mueller," said Mueller's former boss at the San Francisco US Attorney's Office in San Francisco, Joe Russoniello.

Mueller himself eventually became the top federal lawyer in the city before moving on to the highest ranks of the Department of Justice where he was Deputy Attorney General and director of the FBI.

"I have total confidence in his integrity and his ability to get to the bottom of this," said San Francisco Attorney Joun Keker.

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Keker knows all about independent investigations. He was the assistant independent counsel in charge of the Oliver North trial. He says Mueller's job won't be easy.

"Getting documents from a hostile power is possible," Keker added. "He's going to need cooperators. He's going to need to follow the money. He's going to need to do all kinds of things and it could take quite a while."

As special counsel, Mueller has all the powers of a federal prosecutor, has the authority to create his own staff, and is not subject to day-to-day supervision.

But the deputy attorney general has the power to question Mueller's practices and even fire him.

Former U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says the public should have confidence in the process.

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"If he disagrees with those decisions, he has some oversight authority but he has to report to congress if he disagrees with any of those decisions so there will be great transparency," Haag told ABC7 News.

This is only the second time a special council has been appointed since the law that created the position took effect 18 years ago.

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