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Mitch McConnell Announces He Won't Introduce Legislation to Protect Mueller
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18 Apr 2018 10:36 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Mitch McConnell (Image Source: Public Domain)

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems like he doesn't want to get his hands dirty. While legislation was introduced to protect Robert Mueller from being fired, McConnell says he won't introduce it, yet he doesn't think Donald Trump will fire him anyway.

When the heat level on Mueller was raised last week after the FBI raid on the President's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, a bipartisan group of senators put forward legislations that would help protect him from being fired as special counsel for the investigation looking into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The group that introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act includes Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican; Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat; Thom Tillis, A North Carolina Republican; and Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat. The legislature would ensure that only a Justice Department official would be allowed to remove Mueller from his position for "good cause."

"I don't think he should fire Mueller, and I don't think he's going to," said McConnell. "So this is a piece of legislation that isn't necessary in my judgment."

And because of his feelings, he won't be bringing the legislation to the Senate floor. "I'm the one who decides what we take to the floor, that's my responsibility as the majority leader, we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate," he reiterated.

Since he said he doesn't think the President will try to fire Mueller,  McConnell was asked if such a move would be shocking to him. "Yes, I don't think he should, and I don't think he will."

This doesn't change Coons' feelings on the issue. "I don't know from where Leader McConnell gets his confidence Trump will not take action to interfere with this investigation," he said, "given the number of times in recent days the President has tweeted or spoken directly or indirectly in ways that I think threaten the investigation led by Special Counsel Mueller."

Coons continued, stating, "I'm focused on making sure we get to a mark-up on the Judiciary Committee next Thursday and that we're in a place for it to get past the Judiciary Committee."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, feels the same way. "While I'm glad the Majority Leader believes the President would be wrong to fire Special Counsel Mueller, it's a mistake not to pass legislation to protect the investigation," he said.

"We ought to head off a constitutional crisis at the pass rather than waiting until it's too late. ... I hope the Judiciary Committee moves forward with a bill and that members of Senator McConnell's caucus push him to reconsider."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Senate Judiciary Democrat, thinks passing this legislation to protect Mueller is still important, regardless of whether McConnell will introduce it or not. She thinks it would send a message.

"If a bill came out of the Judiciary Committee with the votes, and I don't know that it would, but it seems to me that bill is there," she said. "And depending on circumstances, regardless of if he would put it on at a certain time, it would be there. And that accomplishes something."

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