Former FBI director Mueller appointed to lead Russia probe
(ShareCast News) - The US Department of Justice has appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election, as the pressure on President Donald Trump grows.
There were calls for Trump to be impeached on Wednesday after a recent series of allegations surrounding his campaign links with the Kremlin, including the sacking of FBI chief James Comey and the release of a memo from the intelligence official suggesting Trump tried to have the investigation shut down.
Mueller served as FBI director under both George W Bush and Barack Obama, and will be appointed as an independent lead of the investigation, a decision welcome by members of both major parties in the US.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein confirmed Mueller's appointment in a statement.
"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," Rosenstein said.
"My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted."
Trump's presidency has been dogged by constant speculation pertaining to his election campaign's purported links to the Kremlin, which came to a head once again on Tuesday as it was reported he revealed classified information to senior Russian officials.
A US congressman officially called for Trump's impeachment on the House floor on Wednesday, following the explosive New York Times report that Trump told Comey to drop the investigation into controversial former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Global markets have been affected by this week's revelations in the US, but City of London Markets analyst Markus Huber reckons that selling on such political uncertainty is often short-lived.
"If there are more negative revelations to come regarding Trump markets will keep suffering, however at the same time sell-offs caused by politics and not fundamentals are often short-lived as at least in the short-term they have rather very little impact on the economy and on corporate earnings," Huber said.