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Mitch McConnell must stop covering for Trump

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Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"Stop blocking a vote on the bipartisan legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation."

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    Mitch McConnell must stop covering for Trump

    News just broke that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is supervising Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties, had been called to the White House to either resign or be fired.1

    Now, the story appears to have been a "smoke bomb" orchestrated by Trump's lap dogs to distract from new sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court nominee.2 If Trump and his cronies think that the resistance can't walk and chew gum at the same time, they're sorely mistaken.

    There are strong indications that Trump wants Rosenstein out. If he follows through on his threats and fires Rosenstein, it will cross a bright red line, directly threatening Mueller’s independence and the integrity of his investigation.3 Reports now indicate that Trump is meeting with Rosenstein later in the week.4 The Senate must immediately pass legislation to protect the Mueller investigation and send Trump a strong message that it will not sit idly by as he threatens it.

    Tell Mitch McConnell: Bring the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to the Senate floor for a fair up or down vote.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after it became clear he lied about meeting with Russian agent Sergey Kislyak while he was a surrogate for the Trump campaign in 2016.5 Since Sessions is recused, Rosenstein is acting as Mueller's supervisor on the investigation into Trump’s massive web of collusion with Russia. So far the investigation has procured indictments or guilty pleas from 32 people, including four former Trump advisors.6

    The closer Mueller gets to Trump's inner circle, the more panicked Trump becomes. As the news was circulating that Trump might be about to fire Rosenstein, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow suggested that if Rosenstein is out as Deputy Attorney General, Mueller's investigation should be put on "time out."7

    More than ever, Mueller must be protected. But Republicans are refusing to act. Bipartisan legislation to protect the special counsel investigation passed out of a Senate committee in April, but Mitch McConnell refuses to bring it to the floor for a vote.

    The legislation, which was was actually sponsored by Republicans Sens. Lindsay Graham and Thom Tillis, would simply prevent the special counsel from being fired without just cause.8 McConnell has been trying to kill it, using the excuse that he doesn’t think Trump will try to fire Mueller.9,10 But Trump already tried fire to Mueller in 2017, and only backed down when White House staff threatened to quit.11 And now that Trump has teetered on the brink of firing Mueller's boss, McConnell is running out of excuses.

    With an illegitimate autocrat occupying the White House, our system of laws needs the strongest possible defense – no White House is above the law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate must put a check on Trump and protect the integrity of the Mueller investigation.

    Tell Mitch McConnell: Bring the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to the Senate floor for a fair up or down vote.

    Thanks for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Noah Bookbinder, Barry Berke and Norman L. Eisen, "Manafort Folds. Now What?," The New York Times, Sept. 14, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Sophie Tatum et al., "Trump inflames war on Justice Dept. by declassifying Russia docs," CNN, Sept. 18, 2018.
    4. Brian Murphy, "These Republicans co-wrote a bill to protect Mueller. Now they won’t push for it," The News & Observer, Aug. 22, 2018.
    5. Daniella Diaz and Phil Mattingly, "McConnell: I won't put legislation to protect Mueller on Senate floor," CNN, April 18, 2018.
    6. Lauren Gambino, "McConnell says he will not allow vote on bill protecting Mueller from firing," The Guardian, April 17, 2018.
    7. Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, "Trump Ordered Mueller Fired, but Backed Off When White House Counsel Threatened to Quit," The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2018.
    8. Kyle Cheney, "Dems seek hearing on law protecting Mueller," POLITICO, Sept. 12, 2018.
    9. Scott Clement and Emily Guskin, "Post-ABC poll: Majority of Americans support Mueller’s probe of Russia, Trump campaign," The Washington Post, April 13, 2018.
    10. Andrew Kragie, "Key Senate Republicans Express Support for Mueller Probe," The Atlantic, Sept. 17, 2018.