Legislation meant to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation was blocked in the United States Senate on Wednesday, per a report from the Hill.
This is the third time in roughly a month for the Senate to refuse to protect Mueller. The legislation, pushed by retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake, is meant to maintain “a significant degree of presidential control while protecting the special counsel investigations from being terminated by a president who might feel that he or she is under increasing heat.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to Flake’s bill, arguing that President Donald Trump is not looking into firing Mueller. McConnell objected the first time Flake asked to bring up the legislation for a vote as well. Senator Mike Lee of Utah objected the second time.
President Donald Trump has publicly criticized Robert Mueller’s office on numerous occasions, alleging bias and calling the investigation a “witch hunt.” In a Twitter message published yesterday, the president thanked Yahoo News investigative reporter Michael Isikoff for speaking up against the theory that Trump had colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election in his favor.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Isikoff, who co-authored Russian Roulette, a book about the alleged Russia collusion, recently made it clear that he was likely wrong about Trump colluding with Russia, and that he now “leans, rather clearly, against the idea that Robert Mueller is likely to claim criminal ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
Although Isikoff is not the first journalist to doubt the veracity of Mueller’s allegations, he is one of the first prominent journalists to walk back previous Russia collusion claims. In January, the Nation‘s Stephen F. Cohen wrote that the special counsel’s “unprecedented” allegations are “based on two documents devoid of facts or logic.”
Nonetheless, the Russia investigation has gone on, and Robert Mueller appears to have overwhelming public support. Tens of thousands of protesters opposed Trump’s removal of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General in November, amid fears that the president will appoint a loyalist willing to terminate the probe, while calling for a bill to protect Mueller, according to the Washington Post.
Fulfilling protester wishes, Jeff Flake proposed a bill to protect Mueller, again, but evidently to no avail. The senator’s legislation would not protect the special counsel from firing, but it would give Mueller — and all future special investigators — an “expedited review,” the Hill notes, which would allow a court of law to reinstate the special counsel if necessary.
Although Jeff Flake has seemingly branded himself as a Trump opponent and critic, willing to put country over party, the retiring senator’s voting record tells a different story: A FiveThirtyEight updating tally shows that Flake votes in line with Donald Trump’s position 86 percent of the time.