(THIS IS WHY THEY WANT OUR GUNS AMERICA)
BY ALEXANDER BOLTON – 04/10/18 11:17 AM EDT
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday called on Senate GOP leaders to bring legislation to the floor that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired in the midst of heightened tension over his investigation of the president.
Schumer called for new protections of Mueller hours after the FBI raided the Manhattan office of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, enraging the president.
The Democratic leader warned that Mueller’s investigation must be allowed to proceed unimpeded to avoid a constitutional crisis.
He noted that there are several bipartisan bills to protect the special counsel.
“Let us take steps to protect the special counsel from political interference. We have several bipartisan bills designed to do just that. Majority Leader McConnell should bring them to the floor and let us debate them very soon,” Schumer said.
Trump blasted the Department of Justice Tuesday morning after FBI agents used a search warrant to seize documents from Cohen’s office and residence on Monday afternoon.
“Attorney-client privilege is dead!” he tweeted, adding in all-capital letters. “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!”
Trump did not rule out firing Mueller while speaking to reporters before a White House meeting on Monday.
Calling the investigation a “disgrace,” Trump said, “Many people have said, ‘You should fire him.’”
Schumer defended the raid as being approved by lifelong public officials, noting there was a high bar for them to obtain a warrant.
“Law enforcement officers believe there’s a good chance that the attorney for [the] president committed [a] crime or was involved in fraud where they couldn’t have gotten the okay from the magistrate to make these seizures,” Schumer said.
Democrats and a few Republicans have pushed in recent months for legislation to protect the special counsel’s independence.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) last year floated legislation that would empower judges to reinstate Mueller if a court found his firing to be improper.
That bill was cosponsored by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Dela.).
Most Republicans, including GOP leaders, however, have argued prior to this week that legislation is not necessary because Trump is unlikely to fire Mueller.
Trump would likely need the sign-off of Deputy General Rod Rosenstein to dismiss Mueller. Rosenstein is working closely with the special counsel and has repeatedly said he has no cause to fire him.
Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters last month that “I just think it’s not necessary” when asked about a bill to protect the special counsel, and noted that such a bill would need Trump’s signature to become law.
Schumer, however, argued that Republicans can no longer be confident that Trump won’t act.
“For months Republicans have said that legislation to protect the special counsel is not needed because they’ve been assured by nameless people that the president won’t fire the special counsel,” he said. “That assurance has been shaken by the president’s comments last night.”
Trump again criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday for recusing himself from investigations related to possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Sessions’s recusal is what put Rosenstein in charge of the probe.
“The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself,” the president fumed, adding that he would have picked a different attorney general had he known Sessions would recuse himself.