Despite the president’s increasingly outrageous Twitter attacks against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Republican leaders in the Senate refuse to take the possibility of Trump’s firing of Mueller and the shut down of his relentless probe seriously.
While two separate bills have been introduced in the Senate that would prevent Trump from unilaterally dismissing the Special Counsel, senior Senate Republican leaders are downplaying the need for such legislation, according to a report today on The Hill.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), the second-ranking member of the Senate GOP, feels that the legislation would be a waste of time and effort.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen, so I just think it’s not necessary and obviously legislation requires a presidential signature and I don’t see … the necessity of picking that fight right now,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn still thinks that Trump is being “unhelpful” by criticizing the investigation at this stage and thinks that any removal of Mueller “would be a mistake and produce all sorts of unintended consequences,” but his confidence in Trump’s denials means that he is placing his trust in a president who seems congenitally unable to say anything containing a shred of truth.
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the senior Senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, have gone on record as saying that they don’t believe that Trump would dump Mueller.
“My conversations with the White House have led me to believe legislation is not necessary at this point because I do not believe the president would take such a foolish action,” said Hatch.
At least two Republican Senators are distancing themselves from their colleague’s trust in the president’s ability to refrain from retaliating against Mueller and supporting legislation that would ensure that he couldn’t.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) co-sponsored a bill with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) that would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) have joined to propose legislation that would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing in court.
However, some Republican Senators who do oppose any attempt to put a stop to the Special Counsel’s probe nevertheless feel legislation is not the best way to accomplish it, questioning the constitutionality of the bills. Count Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in that camp.
“I don’t think it’s necessary … [and] I’ve never been convinced that it’s constitutional,” Senator Kennedy said.
“Trump has always seen what he can get away with, and when there are no lasting consequences, he presses on further. Right now, he’s testing what Hill Rs will let him get away with re Mueller. And so far there’s silence from leadership.”