Special counsel in Russia probe has Bay Area ties

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has roots in the Bay Area. He cut his legal teeth in San Francisco, working as a litigator fresh out of law school until 1976.

Mueller's career then took him to various U.S. attorney offices, including the San Francisco office, where he became chief of the criminal division.

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He again left the Bay Area in 1982, but came back in 1998 as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. He held that position until 2001, when President George W. Bush named him FBI director.

Mueller gained game leading the agency through the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks, finally retiring in 2013.

After that, Mueller was again drawn to the Bay Area, working with Stanford University on issues of online networks and international security.

Most recently, he oversaw the distribution of the settlement money from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. That was a case out of the federal court based in San Francisco. He was to be in charge of handling the Takata airbag settlement funds as well.

There's no word on what will happen to that responsibility, but Mueller has always been viewed as a settlement expert and someone viewed as a most credible law enforcement official by both Democrats and Republicans.

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