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Friends say Mueller flickers lights on and off to get guests to leave



TIME magazine named special counsel Robert Mueller near the top of its shortlist for Person of The Year 2018, painting a picture of a dedicated no-nonsense prosecutor keeping his high-profile and fast-moving investigation insulated from the political firestorm surrounding it.

According to those who know him best, Mueller “is the kind of man who flicks the lights off and on at his home to inform guests that it’s time to leave a social gathering,” TIME wrote.

Mueller, a former FBI director of 12 years and seasoned federal prosecutor, was named by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the special counsel in May 2017 to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the campaign of President Donald Trump illegally collaborated with Moscow to tilt the race in Trump’s favor.

Since taking over the probe, Mueller’s team has charged five Americans once affiliated with Trump’s campaign or administration, 13 Russian nationals, 12 Russian intelligence officers, three Russian companies, and two other people with crimes.

Read more:Here’s everyone who has been charged and convicted in Mueller’s Russia probe so far

Even as Mueller’s investigation closes in on some of Trump’s top allies, colleagues describe Mueller as fiercely loyal to procedure and duty-driven, qualities they say stem from his early life experience serving in the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War after college.

Mueller is also notoriously tough on his subordinates, known to “chew out” FBI special agents whose work didn’t match his standards and interrupt attorneys at the DOJ by asking “What is the issue?” when they didn’t explain things concisely enough.

But Mueller didn’t fare as well when he interjected with that same question while his wife of 52 years, Ann Mueller (neé Cabell Standish), was telling him about a tough day she had, as he recounted in a 2013 commencement address at the College of William & Mary.

“I am your wife,” Mueller recalled her replying. “I am not one of your attorneys. Do not ever ask me, ‘What is the issue?’ You will sit there and you will listen until I am finished.”

That night, I did learn the importance of listening to those around you—truly listening—before making judgment, before taking action,” Mueller added. “I also learned to use that question sparingly, and never, ever with my wife.”

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