McConnell: Mueller probe should be allowed to finish

McConnell: Mueller probe should be allowed to finish
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBudowsky: Pelosi can break shutdown stalemate GOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation should be allowed to finish, reiterating what has been a mantra for Senate Republicans this year.

The GOP leader, however, said legislation to protect Mueller from interference by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE or his new acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker is unnecessary, an argument he has made before. 

“There’s been no indication — as you can imagine, I speak to the president fairly often — no indication the Mueller investigation will not be allowed to finish and it should be allowed to finish,” McConnell said.

Asked if former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsNadler sends Whitaker questions on possible contacts with Trump over Mueller probe Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Martin, Bobby and the will to change MORE’s resignation under pressure might have changed his mind at all about the need for legislation to protect Mueller, McConnell answered with an exasperated “no.”

“We know how the president feels about the Mueller investigation but he’s never said he wants to shut it down. I’ve never heard anybody down there say they want to shut it down. I think it’s in no danger so I don’t think any legislation is necessary,” he said, referring to what he knows about conversations at the White House.

McConnell made his comments on the same day that two colleagues, Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (R-Ariz.) and Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Sunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown MORE (R-Del.), said they would ask for unanimous consent to vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.

The bill was co-authored by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct Debate builds over making Mueller report public MORE (R-S.C.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering MORE (R-N.C.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMellman: Lynching and defective representation Senate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private 2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging MORE (D-N.J.), and passed the Judiciary Committee in April.

The legislation codifies Department of Justice regulations mandating that a special counsel can only be fired for good cause and can only be fired by a senior Justice Department official.

It would also create a 10-day review period during which a judge would determine whether a special counsel’s termination was justified.