Ryan: ‘I welcome’ Mueller to Russia probe

Ryan: ‘I welcome’ Mueller to Russia probe
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanAs Congress debates repeal of the estate tax, why not consider ending the gift tax? Ryan: Scalise is 'doing well' and 'his spirits are up' Poll: ObamaCare more popular than House GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday praised former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to probe Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead,” he said in a statement. “This is what we’ve been doing here in the House.”

“The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at Department of Justice. The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue," Ryan continued.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday announced that the Justice Department had appointed Mueller as special counsel of its Russia investigation.

“In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special prosecutor to assume responsibility for the matter,” Rosenstein said in a statement.

“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” he added. “I have made no such determination.”

“What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

Muller, who served as FBI director for 12 years in both the George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama WH ethics lawyer: Lack of Comey tapes example of 'witness intimidation' Education Dept. regulatory reform task force finds over 150 rules to review Ice Cube: Black community not high on Trump's priorities list MORE administrations, has built a reputation as a straight-shooting nonpartisan.

Trump said Wednesday that federal investigators will not find evidence of collusion between Russia and his 2016 campaign.

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” he said in a statement.