The Justice Department announced Wednesday it has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into the probe of alleged Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. The appointment came amid a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the politically charged investigation.

“In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted.” READ MORE