Judicial Watch obtains email saying Robert Mueller withdrew as candidate for top FBI slot

Mueller has previously testified before congress that he did not apply for the position of FBI director.

Published: September 8, 2020 6:44pm

Updated: September 9, 2020 11:32am

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a May 17, 2017 email apparently indicated that Robert Mueller had withdrawn from being considered as a candidate for the position of FBI director.

Rosenstein in the email obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act suit wrote, "Withdrew from consideration for FBI director." The email included the subject heading, "Mueller," according to Judicial Watch.

The date of the email, May 17, 2017, is also the day that it was announced Mueller would serve as special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Mueller on the day prior, May 16, 2017, met with the president, but has said that he never interviewed to secure the FBI director position.

According to a transcript of testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in July 2019, Mueller denied having interviewed for the job. Portions of the transcript read as follows. 

STEUBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Mueller, over here. Mr. Mueller did you indeed interview for the FBI director job one day before you were appointed as Special Counsel?

MUELLER: My understanding I was not applying for that job, I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job, which triggered the interview you’re talking about.

STEUBE: So you don’t recall on May 16th, 2017 that you interviewed with the president regarding the FBI director job?

MUELLER: I interviewed with the president and it was about...

STEUBE: Regarding the FBI director job?

MUELLER: ...it was about the job and not about me applying for the job.

STEUBE: So your statement here today is that you didn’t interview to apply for the FBI director job?

MUELLER: That’s correct.

President Trump has asserted that Mueller did interview for the position of FBI director.

"It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel," Trump tweeted. "Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!"


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