NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL says former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct a probe into how the NFL handled evidence as it investigated domestic violence claims against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement Wednesday that the investigation will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Goodell said that Mueller will have access to all NFL records.
The National Football League released this statement following the announcement of the investigation:
“Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III will conduct an independent investigation into the NFL’s pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence incident, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tonight. Director Mueller’s investigation will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the final report will be made public.
“Mara and Rooney are both attorneys. Commissioner Goodell pledged that Director Mueller will have the full cooperation of NFL personnel and access to all NFL records. Mueller served as director of the FBI for 12 years (2001-2013) under two presidents. He is currently a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale and is based in Washington, DC.”
The NFL’s announcement came after a law enforcement official told the AP on condition of anonymity that he sent a tape of Rice striking his then-fiancée at a casino to an NFL executive in April.
Goodell has maintained that no one at the league had seen the tape prior to Monday, when it went viral online.
UPDATE: Sept. 11, 2014:
“Commissioner Goodell called us on Wednesday evening and requested that we oversee the independent investigation that will be conducted by former FBI Director Robert Mueller III. Our role is not to conduct or direct the investigation but to support Mr. Mueller and assist him in gaining whatever access or resources he needs. At the conclusion of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, we will receive his findings on behalf of the League’s owners.
“We have spoken with Mr. Mueller today, and he has informed us he is prepared to begin immediately. No timeline was established and we stressed that he should take as much time as necessary to complete a thorough investigation. We agreed that the scope of the investigation should be aimed at getting answers to specific questions, including what efforts were made by league staff to obtain the video of what took place inside the elevator and to determine whether, in fact, the video was ever delivered to someone at the league office, and if so, what happened to the video after it was delivered.
“Mr. Mueller assured us that his investigation will be thorough and independent, and that he will keep us informed of his progress. We asked Mr. Mueller to report his conclusions to us to be shared with NFL Owners, and we agreed that his final report will be shared with the public.
“Our sole motive here is to get the truth and then share Mr. Mueller’s findings with the public.”
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