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Tell Congress: Use must-pass legislation to protect Mueller

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The petition to Congress reads:

"Democracy and the rule of law are under threat from Trump's hand-picked acting attorney general. Use end-of-year, must-pass government funding legislation to protect the Mueller investigation."

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    Tell Congress: Use must-pass legislation to protect Mueller

    Donald Trump made it clear how much he wants to sabotage Robert Mueller's investigation when he installed his lapdog Matthew Whitaker as attorney general. It is now even more important that Congress assert its responsibility to put a check on Trump.

    This week, Sens. Chris Coons and Jeff Flake tried to bring Mueller protection legislation to the Senate floor, but Mitch McConnell denied even a vote on the bill.1

    Sens. Flake and Coons say they will keep bringing the legislation to the Senate floor, but McConnell won't budge unless senators raise the stakes even higher. To save the investigation into Trump's Russia ties, we need to convince every Democrat and Republicans supposedly concerned about the future of our democracy to use their leverage to put legislation protecting Mueller into must-pass end-of-year spending bills.

    Tell Congress: Use must-pass legislation to protect Mueller.

    We need to remember that protecting Mueller is a matter of our democracy itself, not mere partisan advantage. If a major party presidential campaign colluded with a foreign power to swing an election, there must be consequences. If people lied to federal investigators about such a plan, they must face penalties. Mueller's investigation already produced indictments or guilty pleas from 32 people, including four former Trump advisers, and he may be on the verge of indicting Donald Trump Jr.2,3 It is worth threatening a government shutdown over the principle that we are a nation of laws, not a dictatorship.

    Whitaker's installation is a direct attack on the rule of law and our democracy. Whitaker complained that Mueller's investigation might hurt Trump's reputation, defended the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, derided Mueller's investigation as a “witch hunt,” proposed slashing Mueller’s budget in order to sabotage the investigation, suggested that Rosenstein should interfere with the scope of the investigation, retweeted an op-ed on the “Mueller Lynch Mob,” suggested hiding the Mueller evidence from the public, complained about aggressive tactics, opposed legislation to protect the special counsel from White House interference and chaired the 2014 political campaign of Sam Clovis, a grand jury witness in the investigation.4,5 He made it perfectly clear that he will undermine or completely destroy Mueller's work.

    In April, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan legislation to protect Mueller from being fired without just cause.6 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring it to the floor for a vote.7 It shows we cannot count on empty words about protecting Mueller from the likes of Susan Collins or Jeff Flake. Republicans are on the defensive, but McConnell is obstinate. The only tool at our disposal is for Democratic leadership to force legislation protecting Mueller into funding bills that must pass before the end of the year and to pressure Republican senators who supposedly care about our democracy to join them.

    Tell Congress: Use must-pass legislation to protect Mueller.

    Thank you for speaking out in defense of democracy.

    References:

    1. Ian Schwartz , "Flake: I Will Not Let Judicial Nominees Advance, Confirm Judges Until Senate Protects Mueller," Real Clear Politics, Nov. 14, 2018.
    2. Andrew Prokop, "All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far," Vox, Oct. 10, 2018.
    3. Jonathan Chait, "Donald Trump Jr. Expecting to Be Indicted by Mueller Soon," Intelligencer, Nov. 7, 2018.
    4. Matthew Whitaker, "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far," CNN, Nov. 7, 2018.
    5. Ken Dilanian, "Tweet," Nov. 7, 2018.
    6. Eli Watkins, "Schumer: Democrats could tie Mueller protection measure to must-pass legislation," CNN, Nov. 11, 2018.
    7. Ibid.

    photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images