Mueller taking on new challenge after heading FBI on 9/11

FILE - In this July 30, 2001, file photo, Robert Mueller is sworn in at the start of his testimony during his confirmation hearing befo

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1991, file photo, then-Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller points to a photo of the reconstructed wreckag

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Mueller took office as FBI director in 2001 a week before Sept. 11. He had been expecting to dig into drug cases, white-collar misdeeds and violent crime.

But overnight, his mission changed and Mueller spent the next 12 years wrestling the agency into a terrorism-fighting force.

Now, Mueller once again finds himself in the midst of historic events: The Justice Department has named him special counsel to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump team during the 2016 presidential election and related matters.

Republicans and Democrats alike praised the 72-year-old Mueller as someone widely respected for his integrity and independence.