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Bharara: We owe Mueller 'incalculable thanks'

Bharara: We owe Mueller 'incalculable thanks'
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Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreet BhararaVox Media acquires podcasting company co-founded by Preet Bharara Reimagining the role of the next SEC chair What a Biden administration should look like MORE is praising special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he 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.