Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will lead an independent probe of the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, Commissioner Roger Goodell announces.


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The probe will be conducted by former FBI Director Robert Mueller and will be overseen by two owners, John Mara of the New York Giants and Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

News of the investigation came hours after The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official sent a tape of Rice striking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer to the NFL's offices in New York. The official played an AP reporter a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video's arrival. A female voice expresses thanks and says: "You're right. It's terrible."

The official told AP that he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can't confirm anyone watched the video. The person said he was unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice's punishment.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has faced heavy criticism, including calls to resign, over his handling of the case. The league has said it asked for, but could not obtain, the video of Rice punching Palmer in an elevator at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.