When the FBI indicted Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on Monday, Oct. 30, many speculated about the future of Bob Mueller’s investigation. The White House tried to categorize the arrests as old news that had nothing to do with the Trump administration. Even so, questions remain. Will Trump fire Mueller?
The mere suggestion has unified some Republican senators. They will not stand for any interruption in the special counsel’s investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“My basic philosophy is, once you have an independent counsel, you ought to give him a chance to follow the facts,” said Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.). “If somebody’s doing a job, you don’t want to cut it off.” Shelby is on the Senate Appropriations Committee. He’s also the chairman of the subcommittee that allocates Justice Department funding.
Shelby is not alone. “I would not support [firing Mueller]. He needs to continue to investigate,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
“I would oppose,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “And so would the American people.”
That those in Trump’s own party are voicing their opposition is an indication that they’re willing to stand up to the President. This should come as no surprise, as Trump’s victory in 2016 was not against Hillary Clinton alone; he also defeated 16 other Republican candidates.
“There would be an uprising at the Capitol like never seen before if any kind of interference looked like it was taking place,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. “Regardless of which side of the aisle. That’s just beyond the pale.”
The President, for his part, continues to push for more investigation of the Democratic meddling. He’s pushing for an examination of the so-called dossier. That attempt at character assassination appears to have been initiated by Trump’s own Republican opposition, and then adopted by the Clinton camp after the primary’s were over.
The other incident centers around the a Russian contract for Uranium production approved by Clinton’s State Department and the Obama administration in 2010.
Many of the same Republicans supporting these investigations, though, are also eager to see the Russian investigation through to its conclusion.
“The idea that Bob Mueller is going to have the scope of his inquiry constrained or be otherwise restricted, is really out there,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “I think that’s extremely unlikely.”
“The special counsel has his job to do. The job we have here in the Senate is the investigation being carried out by the intelligence committee,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noted.
“I guarantee you more shoes will drop,” McCain said. “I guarantee you the scandal’s not over.”
HT/ Washington Post