Military Wiki
Robert Mueller
6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

In office
September 4, 2001 – September 4, 2013
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Deputy Bruce Gebhardt
John Pistole
Timothy Murphy
Sean Joyce
Preceded by Thomas Pickard (Acting)
Succeeded by James Comey
Personal details
Born Robert Swan Mueller III
August 7, 1944(1944-08-07) (age 78)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Princeton University
New York University
University of Virginia
Religion Episcopalian
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Unit 3RDMARDIV.png 3rd Marine Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
Vietnam gallantry cross-w-palm-3d.svg Gallantry Cross

Robert Swan Mueller III (born August 7, 1944) served as the sixth Director of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Early life and education

Mueller was born the August 7, 1944, in New York City, New York, the son of Alice C. (née Truesdale) and Robert Swan Mueller.[1] His maternal great-grandfather was railroad executive William Truesdale; his ancestry includes German, Scottish, and English.[2] Mueller grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A 1962 graduate of St. Paul's School, he went on to receive an A.B. from Princeton University in 1966, where he played lacrosse, an Master of Arts in international relations from New York University in 1967, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973.

Military service

Mueller joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an officer for three years, leading a rifle platoon of the 3rd Marine Division during the Vietnam War. He attended Marine officer candidate school, Army Ranger School and Army jump school [3] He is a recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.


Following his military service, Mueller continued his studies at the University of Virginia Law School, eventually serving on the Law Review. After receiving his Juris Doctor degree, Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco until 1976.

He then served for 12 years in United States Attorney offices. He first worked in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, where he rose to be chief of the criminal division, and in 1982, he moved to Boston to work in the office of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts as Assistant United States Attorney, where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorism and public corruption cases, as well as narcotics conspiracies and international money launderers.

After serving as a partner at the Boston law firm of Hill and Barlow, Mueller returned to government service. In 1989, he served in the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. The following year he took charge of its criminal division. During his tenure, he oversaw prosecutions that included Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie bombing) case, and the Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. In 1991, he was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 1993, Mueller became a partner at Boston's Hale and Dorr, specializing in white-collar crime litigation. He returned to public service in 1995 as senior litigator in the homicide section of the District of Columbia United States Attorney's Office. In 1998, Mueller was named U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California and held that position until 2001.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

At the memorial event of Giovanni Falcone, Mueller told the audience of American and Italian law enforcement that the relationships forged years ago between the Italian National Police and the FBI "have borne tremendous fruit in this age of international crime and terrorism. Those friendships have set the standard for global cooperation among law enforcement".

Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director on July 5, 2001.[4] He and two other candidates were up for the job at the time, but he was always considered the front runner.[5] Washington lawyer George J. Terwilliger III and veteran Chicago prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer Dan Webb were up for the job but both pulled out from consideration around mid-June. Confirmation hearings for Mueller, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were quickly set for July 30, only three days before his prostate cancer surgery.[6][7] The vote on the Senate floor on August 2, 2001, passed unanimously, 98–0.[8] He then served as Acting Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice for several months, before officially becoming the FBI Director on September 4, 2001, just one week before the September 11 attacks against the United States. On May 12, 2011, it was reported that President Obama had asked Director Mueller to continue at the helm of the FBI for another 2 years beyond his current term, set to expire on September 4, 2013.[9] The Senate approved this request on July 27, 2011.[10] Mueller stepped down on September 4, 2013, and was replaced by James Comey.[11]

Domestic wiretapping investigation

Director Mueller, along with Acting Attorney General James B. Comey, offered to resign from office in March 2004 if the White House overruled a Department of Justice finding that domestic wiretapping without a court warrant was unconstitutional.[12] Attorney General John D. Ashcroft denied his consent to attempts by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to waive the Justice Department ruling and permit the domestic warrantless eavesdropping program to proceed. On March 12, 2004, President George W. Bush gave his support to changes in the program sufficient to satisfy the concerns of Mueller, Ashcroft and Comey.[12] The extent of the National Security Agency's domestic warrantless eavesdropping under the President's Surveillance Program is still largely unknown.



  1. "Robert Swan Mueller III". Chicago Sun-Times. July 30, 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-02. [dead link]
  2. "Ancestry of Robert Mueller". Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  3. "Robert Mueller: Straight Shooter With a Moving Target". Time Magazine. 2001-07-06.,8599,166567,00.html. Retrieved 2017-12-20. 
  4. "Remarks by the President in Nominating Robert S. Mueller as Director of the FBI". The White House. 2001-07-05. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  5. "Bush Names Mueller FBI Director". United Press. 2001-06-06. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  6. "Senate hearing set July 30 for FBI choice Mueller". CNN. 2001-06-18. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  7. "FBI director-designate has prostate cancer". CNN. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  8. "Robert S. Mueller, III, to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" (Plain Text). United States Senate. 2001-08-02. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  9. "FBI Director to stay in post for another 2 years". CNN. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  10. "Senate Extends Term of F.B.I. Director". New York Times. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Eggen, Dan; Kane, Paul (2007-05-16). "Gonzales Hospital Episode Detailed". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-09-28.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "WashingtonPost20070516" defined multiple times with different content

See also

  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pickard
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Succeeded by
James Comey

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