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 CruzO’Rourke rockets to second place on CNN analysts' 2020 Dem rankings, Harris remains first Senators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown Biden to discuss 2020 bid with family over holidays: report MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that he doesn't think Congress should pass legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE forcing the resignation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsChief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report Press: Mueller closes in on Trump 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.