Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is refusing to allow a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump, telling reporters he hasn’t seen a “clear indication yet” that it was something the Senate needed to pass.
“I haven’t seen a clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don’t think that’s going to happen, and that remains my view,” McConnell told reporters. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Asked what the Senate would do if Trump fired the special counsel, McConnell said, “It’s still my view that Mueller should be allowed to finish his job. I think that’s the view of most people in Congress.”
“He shouldn’t be removed. He should be allowed to finish his job,” McConnell said when asked if he had received assurances from the Trump administration that Mueller would not be fired.
McConnell’s remarks come a day after Trump escalated his attacks against the special counsel following the FBI raid on the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Trump attacked the Russia probe as a “witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now.”
“It’s a disgrace,” Trump continued. “It’s frankly a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for… A whole new level of unfairness.”
Trump was also asked by a reporter why he doesn’t just fire Mueller after Cohen’s office was raided by the FBI. Trump appeared to leave the door open to the idea.
“Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “Many people have said you should fire him. Again, they found nothing. And in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.”
“I feel like the reaction we’re seeing is similar to the last time he expressed frustration back in August,” Tillis said.
Breaking: Trump responds to Michael Cohen raid "It's a disgrace… it's an attack on our country" pic.twitter.com/TcuHJ6y8Fb
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) April 9, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday that President Trump believes he has the power to fire Robert Mueller, contradicting many legal experts who say Trump does not have the power to fire the special counsel. That power, according to Justice Department regulations, falls to the department official in charge of the investigation — in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“He certainly believes that he has the power to do so,” Sanders told White House reporters.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Trump thinks special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe “has gone too far” https://t.co/F1YORL598T
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 10, 2018
“I know a number of individuals in the legal community, and including at the Department of Justice, said he has the power to do so, but I don’t have any further announcements,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.
“We’ve been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision,” she added. “I can’t go anything beyond that.