Calls to “protect” special counsel Robert Mueller are being dismissed by Senate Republicans, who don’t see a need to pass legislation to prevent his firing by President Donald Trump.
Democrats have expressed concerns about Mueller’s future, as Trump and his allies spent the weekend and Monday morning blasting the investigator’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russians.
Despite the renewed attacks, The Washington Examiner reports that the GOP feels protections for Mueller aren’t really necessary.
The president upped the ante over the past few days and said Monday morning that the special counsel has “massive conflicts of interest” as he continues his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But while Democrats warn those comments are a sign Trump will fire Mueller, Republicans say they see no need to pass a bill protecting Mueller.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen, so I think it’s not necessary,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who noted that Trump would have to sign any legislation that passes Congress. “I don’t see the necessity for picking that fight right now.”
Trump started after Mueller again over the weekend after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe from the FBI two days before his retirement benefits kicked in. He questioned why Mueller, a Republican, has 13 “hardened” Democrats on his legal team.
Since then, Republicans have warned Trump against going after Mueller in this nature and called out John Dowd, a member of the president’s outside legal team, for calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to end the special counsel probe into Russian interference. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Oversights Committee told Dowd to “act like” he has an innocent client.
But other Republicans said those comments don’t worry them enough to pass a bill protecting Mueller.