During his days in the FBI, Chris Swecker saw former FBI director Robert Mueller in action under the most stressful of situations: the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Now that Mueller has been picked as special counsel to oversee the investigation into possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, Swecker has every confidence his former boss will be up to the task. And he doesn’t expect any drama.
“I think it clears away a lot of the smoke and controversy because of who Robert Mueller is,” said Swecker, who retired in 2006 as the FBI’s executive assistant director, reporting to Mueller.
“He’s someone who won’t seek out the media,” said Swecker, now an attorney and financial crimes consultant in Charlotte. “He is a Marine in a lawyer’s suit. And that bodes well for getting to the bottom of things and getting to the truth of what happened, if anything happened.”
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In an earlier position leading the FBI in North Carolina, Swecker happened to be meeting with Mueller, who had been FBI director just a week at the time, on the day the 9/11 terrorist attacks unfolded.
“Here is a guy who has been a director all of one week,” Swecker said. “I was watching him take the reins and drive the investigation. It was a good example of what good leadership looks like.”
In another experience with Mueller, Swecker said the FBI director stood strong when the agency wanted to do a controversial search of a congressman’s office during a public corruption case.
“Everybody pushed back,” Swecker said. “Mueller supported it 100 percent. I think he put his career on the line for that. ...He’s not going to be the least bit intimidated by Trump or anybody.”
He is not warm and fuzzy. He is all business. He gets right to it. Some people are put off by that. But he is a mission guy. He is going to get it done.
Chris Swecker, former Charlotte FBI official
In his last role at the FBI, Swecker said his office was right outside Mueller’s.
“He is not warm and fuzzy,” Swecker said. “He is all business. He gets right to it. Some people are put off by that. But he is a mission guy. He is going to get it done.”
Swecker said he expects Mueller will finish the investigation in a year or less.
“You have to factor in it’s been going on six to eight months,” he said. “Those agents haven’t been sitting on their hands. It’s a mature investigation, and the core investigative team will probably stay pretty much the same.”