Press: Congress must protect Mueller from Trump

Press: Congress must protect Mueller from Trump
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On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE fired FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation Pompeo on Rosenstein bombshell: Maybe you just ought to find something else to do if you can't be on the team MORE because he refused to drop the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn’s connections, and possible collusion, with Russian officials in their attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

In the words of then-White House strategist Stephen Bannon, that turned out to be one of “the worst mistakes in modern political history.” Why? Because it triggered the appointment of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who took over the FBI investigation and expanded it from examining not only collusion with Russia, but obstruction of justice by the president of the United States.


So what did Donald Trump do next? In June, just one month later, Trump fired Robert Mueller. Or tried to. Until White House counsel Don McGahn not only refused to fire Mueller, but told Trump he’d resign if Trump went ahead with his plan. At which point, Trump was forced to back down. By the way, how comforting to know there’s at least one person inside the Trump White House with a conscience — and half a brain.

Is that the end of it? No way. Donald Trump’s like a dog with a bone. He’s convinced that the entire investigation is the work of pro-Hillary, anti-Trump FBI agents and that Mueller is personally out to get him. Which is why he discredits the probe nonstop, calling it “fake news” and a “witch hunt,” and why he wouldn’t hesitate to try to fire Mueller again, if he thought he could get away with it — even though the costs of doing so could be fatal.

“It’s pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows that it’d be the end of President Trump’s presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE (R-S.C.) warned on ABC’s “This Week.” Yes, everybody knows that except Donald Trump.

Which is why Congress must act to create a legal cocoon for the FBI, preventing Trump from firing Mueller and enabling the investigation to continue to its conclusion, whatever that conclusion may find regarding collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice. It’s in the interest of both Republicans and Democrats to do so. Republicans, to save the Trump administration from the constitutional crisis that would result from firing Mueller. Democrats, to uphold the rule of law and get to the truth of Russian meddling in the election.

There are already two bipartisan bills on this issue proposed in the Senate: one by Republican Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTrump assures storm victims in Carolinas: 'We will be there 100 percent' North Carolina governor: We saw ‘significant damage’ in eastern part of state GOP senator on allegation against Kavanaugh: 'Why on Earth' wasn't it discussed earlier? MORE (N.C.) and Democrat Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsJudiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Sunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed MORE (Del.), the other by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEx-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report CNN editor: Booker's 'groping incident' 'different' from Kavanaugh allegation Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (N.J.). They both have the same goal: to protect Mueller from getting summarily sacked by Trump, especially now that Mueller’s asked to interview the president and the investigation is in its final stages.

Predictably, Trump’s loyal defenders insist there’s no urgency to pass such legislation. “If there’s an issue that arises, we’ll take it up at the time,” argues House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE (R-Calif.). But they’re dead wrong. You don’t wait to buy fire insurance until your house is on fire. The time to protect Robert Mueller is now.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”