Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.) blocked a bill Wednesday that would have protected special counsels like Robert S. Mueller III from being fired, according to multiple reports.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona sided with Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Corey Booker of New Jersey in attempting to force a vote by unanimous consent. Per the Senate rules, that allows a bill to be torpedoed by just one Senator, which is exactly what Lee did.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the bill was unnecessary, as Trump is not planning to fire Mueller. But Flake, a known Trump hater, was not buying that argument.
“Why shouldn’t we be up in arms about this?” Flake said in reference to Trump’s Teets bashing the Special Counsel’s witch hunt. “Should we here in the Senate be okay with that? I argue no, we should not be.”
“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 continued. “To be so sanguine about the chances of him being fired is folly for us, I believe.”
Flake is the lamest of ducks, as he will retire in January at the end of his miserable term.
Lee, on the other hand, at least cited some legal precedent in his argument, making reference to late Justice Antonin Scalia’s minority opinion in the case that originally allowed special counsels to be appointed in the first place.
“As Justice Scalia explains, we cannot convert an office like this one, an office like the previously existing office of independent counsel, without creating a de facto fourth branch of government fundamentally undermining the principles of the separation of powers that is so core to our liberty,” he said.
In any case, Mueller now stands unprotected from being fired, like any other human being with a job. Trump remained adamant about the Mueller probe in a Wednesday interview with the New York Post, saying that if he is continually harassed, he will declassify documents pertaining to the FISA warrants that got the ball rolling on the Russian “collusion” investigation in the first place, which are apparently damning to the Democrats.
“If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me. I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that,” Trump said, noting that he is saving the declassification for when it is politically expedient.
“It’s much more powerful if I do it then,” he said, “because if we had done it already, it would already be yesterday’s news.”
He did not mention firing Mueller.
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