GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) is voicing support for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion, saying the probe is “not a witch hunt.”
“I do believe that Mr. Mueller will be fair, I don’t believe this is witch hunt,” Graham, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Mueller “should be able to do his job,” Graham added.
The GOP senator backed Mueller after President Trump unleashed a new round of attacks against the special counsel following a pair of legal blows against the president on Tuesday.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight counts of bank and tax fraud in federal court in Virginia, while Trump’s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations in court in New York.
The Manafort conviction was the first courtroom test for Mueller’s probe, while Cohen implicated the president in admitting to making payments during the 2016 election to tamp down on claims from two women who claim they had affairs with Trump in 2006.
Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), a top critic of Trump in the GOP, said that the growing list of convicted or guilty Trump associates shows “that the Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt.”
“I’m glad that he’s doing what he’s doing. And doing it professionally, Mueller. And we need to allow him to continue to serve,” Flake said.
“I hope that the president doesn’t take any action that would impede that, I hope that he quits trying to undermined that investigation, if he’s not worried about the what the conclusion is then let it take its course,” he added.
The retiring Arizona senator said he “hopes” the Senate will consider a Judiciary Committee-backed bill that would make it more difficult to fire the special counsel.
Still, Graham and fellow GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) maintained that Mueller’s investigation is not under threat at this point.
“I don’t feel any concern right now and if I feel concern, I will let you know,” Graham said.
“I haven’t seen any threat to it at this point other than rhetoric by some, so my view remains the same and that is that probe should continue and it should be allowed to complete itself … I think it’s in the best interest of everyone including the president,” Rubio told reporters.
Democrats have continued to voice concerns that Trump will attempt to end Mueller’s probe into his campaign associates’ ties with Russia, saying the special counsel is still gathering information about those connected to the campaign.
“This is the beginning of the story, we are nowhere near the end of it yet,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said.