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McConnell: 'I don't hear much pressure' to pass bill protecting Mueller from Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) said Saturday he doesn’t think Congress has any role in protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from potentially being fired by President Trump.

“I don’t hear much pressure to pass anything,” McConnell said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt. “There’s been no indication the president or the White House are not cooperating with the special counsel.”

“I think the view up here is, let him do his job,” McConnell continued.

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McConnell’s comments come after the first indictments were handed down in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference last week.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was charged on multiple counts, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering related to his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. His former business associate, Richard Gates, was also indicted.

It was also announced Monday that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian officials.

Senators have previously offered two bills that would protect Mueller from being fired by Trump.

One proposed bill, from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Senate rejects centrist immigration bill after Trump veto threat Sen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats MORE (D-N.J.), would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel. 

A second bill, from Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisPrison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections Kimmel writer tweets amount NRA has given lawmakers in response to shooting prayers Both sides of immigration fight unhappy with Senate debate MORE (R-N.C.) and Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsAfter Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Sunday shows preview: Russian charges, Florida shooting dominate coverage MORE (D-Del.), would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing in court.

But following the news of the indictments, Republicans pushed back on Democrats calling for legislation to protect Mueller, saying it wasn’t necessary.

"I don’t feel an urgent need to pass that law until you show me that Mr. Mueller is in jeopardy," Graham said Monday, adding that no one in their “right mind” would fire Mueller.