Former FBI director Mueller to lead probe of NFL's handling of Ray Rice case

Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:05pm EDT
 
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - A former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Mueller III, will lead a probe into the National Football League's handling of former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice's domestic violence case, the league said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes within hours of a report by the Associated Press that a law enforcement official sent a video to the league in April that showed Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator.

The official wanted the NFL to have the video before deciding how to punish Rice, the agency said, adding that the official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The NFL has steadfastly insisted it had not seen the video until it went viral on Monday.

"We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday," Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the National Football League, told Reuters earlier on Wednesday. Even so, he added, "We will look into it."

Mueller's probe will be overseen by NFL owners John Mara of the New York Giants and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers, both of whom are attorneys, the league said in a statement.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Mueller would have access to league records and personnel and the final report would be made public.

The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely after the release of the video, taken in an elevator in a New Jersey casino, saying the clip showed the violence involved in the incident. Rice's team, the Baltimore Ravens, also cut the three-time Pro Bowler.   Continued...

 
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller reacts to applause from the audience during his farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. .  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst