Evie Fordham on April 18, 2019
FORTUNE magazine named special counsel Robert Mueller number three on its list of the “Top 10 World’s Greatest Leaders” Thursday.
“Few people on either side of the partisan divide seem satisfied with the outcome of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections,” FORTUNE wrote in its profile of Mueller. “But that very dissatisfaction speaks to the nobly impartial example the former FBI director set as he led an arduous, sensitive investigation.”
“He and his team didn’t uncover the smoking guns that President Trump’s critics craved, nor did they grant the President the exoneration he demanded. Instead, sticking to the evidence and tuning out the hype, they exposed serious wrongdoing and shed light on systemic flaws that the nation is now more likely to address,” the profile continued.
The ranking comes on the same day that Mueller’s long-awaited report becomes public. The special counsel has spent nearly two years investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including alleged collusion with the Russian government by the Trump campaign.
FORTUNE ranked Mueller third, below philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. In an article about the rankings, FORTUNE wrote that “courage” was the main theme uniting the leaders on the list.
“Mueller took on a thankless task with dignity, integrity, a willingness to sacrifice his own reputation for a cause, and an unflinching commitment to the rule of law. He proved the country’s institutions still work, even in the face of unprecedented political turmoil,” his profile continued.
FORTUNE’s faith in the investigative process and Mueller himself seems a far cry from some Democrats’ narrative — House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff expressed concern in January that Mueller’s team was not looking at everything they should.
In addition, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said in late March that Congress will continue to investigate President Donald Trump regardless of Mueller’s conclusions.