Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
Senate Republicans blocked an effort Wednesday to advance a bill that would have protected special counsel Robert Mueller.
The push to hold a floor vote on the legislation was led by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) objected to the request to vote on the bill, claiming that it would be unconstitutional to pass legislation to prevent Mueller from being arbitrarily fired or prohibited from carrying out the Russia investigation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also voiced his opposition to the bill, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.”
Republicans have consistently refused to take action to protect Mueller, arguing that such legislation is not necessary. However, the most recent push to bring the bill to the floor for a vote comes amid a series of moves by Trump that indicate the bill is not only necessary but more important than ever before.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted a meme showing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Russia probe, behind bars. The meme also included a caption suggesting that Rosenstein should be tried for “treason.”
Trump later defended the retweet by saying that Rosenstein “should have never picked a special counsel.”
This comes just weeks after Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and installed loyalist Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Whitaker has spoken out against the Russia investigation and indicated that he would support restricting the scope of the probe or even cutting funding for it.
Meanwhile, Trump has ramped up his attacks on Mueller, his team, and the investigation, falsely accusing the special counsel of encouraging witnesses to lie and frequently referring to the probe as a “witch hunt.”
Despite what Republicans claim, there is no reason to believe that Trump won’t try to coerce the new acting attorney general to fire Mueller or obstruct his work. In fact, there’s good reason to believe he may try to do just that, given that he has already fired an FBI director in an attempt to shut down the probe.
Published with permission of The American Independent.