When Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel for the Justice Department’s Trump-Russia investigation, people across the political spectrum cheered that the no-nonsense former FBI director would be aggressive and thorough, and take as long as he needs to follow the facts wherever they take him.
A POLITICO examination of Mueller’s other high-profile investigation since leaving the FBI, however, suggests that many of the people who had similar hopes in that case came away disappointed.
In what the National Football League said would be a completely independent investigation to uncover “the truth,” Mueller was hired in September 2014 to determine whether Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league officials mishandled the league’s response to an incident in which star Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked unconscious his then-fiancee, and then engaged in a cover-up.
Mueller and his team worked quickly but exhaustively for four months to produce a 96-page report that essentially cleared the NFL of intentional wrongdoing. In doing so, they helped defuse a public relations nightmare for America’s most popular and profitable league and possibly saved Goodell’s job.
But the investigation Mueller agreed to conduct for the NFL was so narrowly focused that it left unanswered some fundamental questions about the case, including whether the league ignored blatantly obvious criminal and abusive behavior among its marquee players to protect its billion-dollar revenues.
“It was like someone committed a crime, and they wanted to…Read More