In a statement, Mueller said he was “glad to be at WilmerHale once again, a firm with a tradition of honoring public service.”
“It was an honor to serve as special counsel,” Mueller said. “Now, I look forward to resuming my private practice alongside the talented lawyers at the firm.”
Mueller concluded the special counsel investigation earlier this year, issuing a 448-page report that offered mixed conclusions on the matters he was tasked with investigating. His team found that there was insufficient evidence to allege a conspiracy between Trump and Russia to influence the election, but the investigators were far more circumspect on whether the president had sought to obstruct justice.
In alarming detail, they laid out multiple episodes of possible obstruction and pointedly concluded that they could not exonerate Trump. But they also said they had determined at the outset that it was not their role to accuse Trump of breaking the law, and they made no conclusion on that question.
Mueller formally closed his office in May, and a few months later, he was summoned to Capitol Hill to testify about the results of his work. But if lawmakers were hoping that the hearing would kick off impeachment proceedings — as the recent revelations of Trump privately pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate a political rival did — they were left disappointed.
Mueller, who had warned publicly that he would not speak beyond his report, stayed true to his word. His halting, sometimes confused delivery also had some lawmakers rethinking whether they were right to try to make him their star witness.
It was long expected that Mueller would go back to WilmerHale, and the firm hailed his return.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Bob, our extraordinary friend and colleague, return to WilmerHale,” Robert Novick, the firm’s co-managing partner, said in a statement. “Few lawyers have been entrusted with as many matters of national significance as Bob, in both his public service and in private practice. Bob embodies the highest values of our firm and profession. We’re privileged to work alongside him once again.”
Mueller took with him several WilmerHale lawyers when he was appointed special counsel, and two of them — James L. Quarles and Aaron M. Zebley — served as top deputies in the office. WilmerHale said they, too, were returning to the firm as partners.