Senate Majority Leader McConnell quashes Senate vote on bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller reports USA Today (and many other sources).
In an interview with USA TODAY, James Comey warned that should the president fire special counsel Robert Mueller, it would be “an attack on the rule of law that we have not seen in our lifetime.”
McConnell just greased the path for that possible (probable? eventual?) attack by Trump.
President Trump has grown increasingly angry about Mueller’s probe, which is examining possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election and other matters. Last week, Trump told reporters that “many people” have told him he should fire Mueller and did not rule out taking that step.
Some media outlets have also reported that Trump is considering firing the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe.
Such comments have made some Republicans nervous. Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, is among those pushing for a vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which would also give a special counsel the ability to go to court to challenge a firing.
“This compromise bipartisan bill helps ensure that special counsels – present or future – have the independence they need to conduct fair and impartial investigations,” Tillis said last week.
Democrats have also been pushing for action on the bill. But McConnell and other Republican leaders have shrugged off Trump’s comments, saying they don’t believe Trump will fire Mueller so there’s no need for legislation to protect the special counsel.
“There’s no indication that Mueller’s going to be fired,” McConnell told Fox’s Neil Cavuto.
It is widely believed that Trump does not read. Neither, apparently, does McConnell.
McConnell’s went a step further than he has in the past — saying not only that he does not think the bill is necessary but also ruling out a floor vote even if the measure wins committee approval.
“I’m the one who decides what (bills) we take to the floor,” McConnell said.
“What arrogance,” Scriber said.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, also blasted McConnell.
“I think it’s a complete abdication of responsibility,” Schiff said.
“If President Trump fires Rod Rosenstein or Robert Mueller, is Mitch McConnell going to say he didn’t see it coming?” Schiff said in an interview. “Nobody is going to be able to say that with a straight face."