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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 GrahamKelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Senate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE (R-S.C.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Senate adds members to pro-NATO group Booker: Trump's national security officials face 'serious' choice after Putin summit 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 TillisSenate adds members to pro-NATO group GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki On paper, Wilkie is the perfect candidate for VA secretary, but his qualifications go further MORE (R-N.C.) and Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsLawmakers target link between wildlife poaching, terror groups Senate adds members to pro-NATO group Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin 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.