Robert S. Mueller, III
Robert Mueller was nominated by President George W. Bush and became the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 4, 2001.
Born in New York City, Mr. Mueller grew up outside of Philadelphia. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and later earned a master's degree in International Relations at New York University.
After college, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served as an officer for three years, leading a rifle platoon of the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Following his military service, Mr. Mueller earned a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1973 and served on the Law Review.
After completing his education, Mr. Mueller worked as a litigator in San Francisco until 1976. He then served for 12 years in United States Attorney's Offices, first in the Northern District of California in San Francisco, where he rose to be chief of its criminal division. In 1982, he moved to Boston as an Assistant United States Attorney where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorist, 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, Mr. Mueller returned to public service. In 1989 he served in the United States Department of Justice as an assistant to Attorney General Richard L. Thornburgh. The following year he took charge of its Criminal Division. In 1991, he was elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
In 1993, Mr. Mueller became a partner at Boston's Hale and Dorr, specializing in complex white collar crime litigation. He again 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, Mr. Mueller was named United States Attorney in San Francisco and held that position until 2001.
Mr. Mueller and his wife, Ann, have two daughters.
Legal and government career
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 was again called to public 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.
Mueller was nominated for the position of FBI Director on July 5, 2001. He and two other candidates were up for the job at the time, but he was always considered the front runner. 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. The vote on the Senate floor on August 2, 2001 passed unanimously, 98-0. 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.
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 Justicefinding that domestic wiretapping without a court warrant was unconstitutional. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft denied his consent to attempts by White HouseChief 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. The extent of the National Security Agency's domestic warrantless eavesdropping under the President's Surveillance Program is still largely unknown.
In August 2009, Mueller sent a letter  to the Scottish Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, complaining forcefully about the early release on compassionate grounds from life imprisonment of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence official who had been convicted of participation in the bombing of Pan American Airways Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Mueller's letter provoked a strongly negative reaction in Scotland.