Yet again, the Senate has blocked a bill that would protect special counsels, such as Robert Mueller. This bill would keep Mueller from being fired by the Trump administration before the investigation is over.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says the bill is unnecessary, because there’s no indication that Donald Trump is going to fire Mueller, according to CNN.
It’s the same argument McConnell has used before.
Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) tried to force the vote by unanimous consent. This maneuver, however, means that just one senator can block the vote. Mike Lee (R-UT) did this on Wednesday.
“With the President tweeting on a regular basis — a daily basis — that the special counsel is conflicted, that he’s leading so called ’12 angry Democrats’ and demeaning and ridiculing him every way,” Flake said on the Senate floor. “To be so sanguine about the chances of him being fired is folly for us, I believe.”
Booker also stood up to speak, citing Trump’s tweets about Mueller and Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. Whitaker has been a vocal critic of the Mueller investigation.
“We know the special counsel office is in danger,” Booker said.
The bill has been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it’s been repeatedly blocked from going to the floor by Majority Leader McConnell.
“This is a solution in search of a problem. The president is not going to fire Robert Mueller,” McConnell told reporters, according to USA Today. “We have a lot of things to do to finish up this year without taking votes on things that are completely irrelevant to outcomes.”
Trump tweeted his anger at Mueller as recently as Tuesday, according to CNBC. “Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie,” he wrote. “Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.”
Robert Mueller is the special counsel in the investigation into the 2016 presidential election, which Trump ultimately won by electoral vote. He did not win the popular vote. Mueller and his team are investigating the extent of Russia’s interference into that election, and whether or not Russian agents collaborated with Trump or members of his campaign. Multiple intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia did launch attacks against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the election, and staged a propaganda campaign to support Donald Trump’s bid to the White House.