Bharara: We owe Mueller 'incalculable thanks'

Bharara: We owe Mueller 'incalculable thanks'
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Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaBudowsky: If Dems win control of Congress The Hill's Morning Report: Trump’s allies turn against him The Hill's Morning Report — Battle lines drawn as Trump and Cohen dig in MORE is praising special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE for his "by-the-book" approach to investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying that Americans "owe him incalculable thanks."

In a profile penned for Time magazine's list of "most influential people of 2018," Bharara said Mueller was a man dedicated to public service who had agreed to take on a politically fraught investigation.

"Mueller’s buttoned-down discretion has made him an enigmatic vessel into which polarized sides pour their hopes and fears. To millions, the special counsel is either a political savior or berserk villain," Bharara wrote. "He is neither."

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"He’s a by-the-book lawman who, with nothing to prove and a lifetime of service behind him, agreed to lead the most fraught, least understood, highest-stakes investigation of our time," he wrote.

"For that we owe him incalculable thanks," Bharara added.

Bharara was fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Dems playing destructive 'con game' with Kavanaugh Several Yale Law classmates who backed Kavanaugh call for misconduct investigation Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign MORE last year, after declining to step down at the Justice Department's request.

Mueller was tasked last year with leading the law enforcement investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential race and whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to help sway the outcome of the election. 

That role has often put him on the receiving end of Trump's ire. The president has repeatedly insisted that Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt" and a "hoax," and has reportedly twice sought to dismiss the special counsel.

While some congressional Republicans have questioned the fairness and validity of Mueller's probe, there is apparently little overall support among lawmakers for firing him.