NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced late Wednesday that former FBI Director Robert Mueller III will investigate the league's handling of the Ray Rice case.
Mueller's investigation will be overseen by New York Giants owner John Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney. Mueller's final report will be made public, according to a statement from the NFL:
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.
The statement adds that no one inside the NFL offices saw footage of Rice punching his then-fiancee before a video of the assault surfaced Monday.
Mueller headed up the FBI from September 2001 to September 2013.
Muller was nominated to lead the FBI by George W. Bush. Prior to that, he worked as a litigator in San Francisco, as an assistant United States attorney, and as a partner at a Boston law firm, among other jobs. He also has led the United States Department of Justice and during his career has worked on cases involving white-collar crime, financial fraud, terrorism, drugs, corruption, and other things.
TMZ released the video of the assault Monday, which prompted the NFL to suspend Rice indefinitely.
After the video went public, the Baltimore Ravens released Rice and the NFL imposed the indefinite suspension.
Rice initially was disciplined for the incident in July, when the NFL suspended him for two games. He avoided criminal prosecution for the assault by entering an intervention program.
The NFL has taken heavy criticism for its handling of the Rice case, and many have called for commissioner Roger Goodell to step down.
Goodell said Tuesday that NFL officials had not see the Rice video prior to it going public because authorities didn't make it available to them. However, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that the NFL actually received the video in April.
In a letter, Goodell defended himself, saying the NFL "asked the proper law enforcement authorities to share with us all relevant information, including any video of the incident," but did not receive the footage.
The discrepancies between the two versions of the story has sparked intense criticism. Critics include several members of congress who slammed the NFL's handling of the case. Sen. Richard Blumenthal went so far as to say Goodell "must go" if in fact he did receive the video five months ago.
Goodell has thus far insisted that he won't resign.
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti also wrote a letter to fans Tuesday apologizing for the way the Rice's case was handled.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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