Cruz raises constitutional concerns over legislation to protect Mueller

Cruz raises constitutional concerns over legislation to protect Mueller
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that he doesn't think Congress should pass legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE and his investigation into Russia's election interference.

Cruz said during an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" that he believes such legislation would be unconstitutional. 

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"We had a bill come through the Judiciary Committee that tried to make it impossible for a special counsel to be removed. I believe that legislation was unconstitutional," he said.

Democrats in recent days have renewed their calls for Congress to protect Mueller from being fired in wake of President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE forcing the resignation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE and appointing a replacement who has previously criticized Mueller's investigation.

Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, previously said the Mueller investigation had "gone too far" and once suggested slashing funding for the investigation. In his role as acting attorney general, he now oversees that investigation.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said last week that Democrats might insist that protections for Mueller be included in the next government spending bill. 

“We can urge — and we will — that the bill I introduced that would protect the independence of the special counsel, saying he can only be dismissed for [due] cause ... We can insist that that be a condition of passage of the remaining legislation to fund the government,” Nadler said on CNN.