Robert Mueller to help teach college class on Trump-Russia investigation
The University of Virginia School of Law announced Wednesday that Robert S. Mueller, former Justice Department Special Counsel in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation, will help teach a class on the probe during the school’s fall semester.
The two-year investigation ended in 2019 with the publication of the Mueller Report, documenting findings on the investigation into possible Russian interference with the 2016 election, as well as whether Trump and his associates were involved.
Mueller and his team said in an official report that they couldn’t determine whether Trump or members of his campaign “coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities” due to an incomplete picture of events, however, found that “sweeping and systematic” illegal Russian interference did occur and was welcomed by the Trump campaign, who expected to benefit from the effort. President Trump later used Mueller’s findings to declare himself fully exonerated, which Mueller disputed.
The investigation identified links between figures connected to the Russian Government and Trump campaign officials, leading several people involved in the investigation to be convicted for false statements and the obstruction of investigative efforts.
Following the investigation, Mueller and his team still weren’t completely confident in Trump’s innocence and described 11 episodes of possible obstruction from him, 10 as president and one as a candidate or president-elect, saying he privately attempted to “control the investigation.” The report left the decision on whether Trump obstructed justice to Congress.
Mueller served as FBI director from 2001 to 2003, leading the investigation after appointment by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, alongside Deputy Special Counsel Aaron Zebley, senior counsel Jim Quarles, and senior assistant special counsel Andrew Goldstein.
After the investigation, Zebley, Mueller, and Quarles returned to their roles as partners at the WilmerHale law firm in Washington, and Goldstein joined as the head of Cooley, a white-collar defense and investigations practice.
Zebley and Goldstein will co-teach the class, titled The Mueller Report and the Role of the Special Counsel. Mueller will lead at least one class where he hopes to bring other prosecutors as guest speakers.
“I was fortunate to attend UVA Law School after the Marine Corps, and I’m fortunate to be returning there now,” Mueller said in a statement. “I look forward to engaging with the students this fall.”
The rest of the team said they looked forward to sharing their experiences to teach the current law students.
The university said that the six-session course will focus on a “key set of decisions” made during the special counsel’s investigation. The instructors will discuss the practical and legal context for those decisions, as well as trade-offs when making such decisions during a high-profile case. Instructors will use extensive public records to explore why certain paths were taken instead of others.
The course will be taught chronologically with Mueller’s appointment as special counsel and the launch of the investigation. The classes following will focus on the relationship between the Justice Department and Congress, the importance of the prosecution of Trump-ally Roger Stone, and investigative actions in relation to the White House. The final sessions will focus on obstruction of justice, presidential accountability, and the special counsel’s role in that accountability.