Former FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies at a 2011 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington...

Mueller accepts role as special counsel for Russia investigation

WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director Robert Mueller says he accepts the responsibility of being appointed as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 election.

In a short statement, Mueller says, “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability.”

His law firm, WilmerHale, says he resigned immediately upon his Wednesday appointment by the Justice Department. Spokespeople declined to comment further.

The appointment came amid a growing Democratic outcry for someone outside the Justice Department to handle the politically charged investigation.

It follows the revelation Tuesday that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had asked him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

WATCH: What Robert Mueller brings to the Russia probe

Support PBS NewsHour: