On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Senator Chris Coons accused Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, of protecting President Trump by blocking a vote on bipartisan legislation to safeguard the Special Counsel’s investigation.
Senator Coons (D-DE) explained that Senate Republicans, including McConnell, have no good answer when pressed to explain their confidence that Trump will not fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
After pointing to President Trump’s tweets on Tuesday which called the Special Counsel’s investigation a “witch hunt run by angry Democrats”, Coons said, “I don’t know what would give me the idea that President Trump might suddenly do something unpredictable except that he does it almost everyday.”
He continued by saying the bipartisan legislation sponsored by himself and Republican Jeff Flake will be brought to the floor this afternoon and “could be passed in a few minutes” with 60 votes but that Mitch McConnell will likely block the vote.
Politico reports that Senate Republicans have blocked now the bill after Chris Coons, Jeff Flake, and Corey Booker sought to bring it to the floor for unanimous consent on Wednesday afternoon. GOP Senator Mike Lee objected to the bill on Constitutional grounds, arguing that “prosecutorial authority of the United States belongs to the Department of Justice.” He warned that the bill did not respect the separation of powers and would create a “de facto fourth branch of government.”
Before the bill was blocked for the second time this month, Flake asked why his Senate colleagues weren’t up in arms after President Trump has repeatedly bashed Mueller’s investigation.
“With the president tweeting on a regular basis, a daily basis, that the special counsel is conflicted, that he is leading so-called 12 angry Democrats and demeaning and ridiculing him in every way, to be so sanguine about the chances of him being fired is folly for us,” Flake said.The Hill
When Coons was asked in the interview this morning with MSNBC if he thinks Mitch McConnell is protecting the president by refusing to allow the bill to be brought up for a vote, he answered, “Yes” and elaborated that he believes McConnell has received reassurances from the president that he will not act against Mueller. He added that the president’s conduct, on Twitter and in foreign affairs, undermines those assurances and indicate that there is an imminent constitutional crisis that McConnell could prevent.
Coons also stated that he is “confused why the Majority Leader continues to do the president’s bidding” on this when passing it is “in the president’s best interest and in the country’s best interest”.
Senator Jeff Flake, co-sponsor of the bill, has threatened to block judicial nominees until the legislation to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation has been brought to a vote, Politico reports.
USA Today reports that Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, “This is a solution in search of a problem, the president is not going to fire Robert Mueller. We have a lot of things to do to finish up this year without taking votes on things that are completely irrelevant to outcomes.”
Earlier on Tuesday, number two Senator John Cornyn split with McConnell and expressed an openness to the bill, which has support from Grassley, Graham, Tillis, and Collins, in order to resolve the stand off with Flake.