As the GOP-led House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill Thursday to continue funding the federal government past its Friday deadline (the bill now moves on to the Senate who looks to move quickly to push it through), Democratic leaders went on record saying they had hoped to use the bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from what they seem certain is an impending sacking from President Donald Trump.
Republicans reportedly denied them that request.
Democratic leaders say they asked GOP that protections for Special Counsel Mueller be placed in omnibus spending bill. "They refused to do that," Sen. Schumer says. https://t.co/adTUV5ck0x pic.twitter.com/iM8L6F0wjk
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 22, 2018
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told reporters that he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had asked Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) to include protections in the omnibus bill that would protect Mueller in the event he was fired.
“An alternative that would either prevent him from being fired or give us a recourse in case he was,” Schumer said Thursday. “We gave them either choice. They refused to do that.”
Schumer said he made it known to his Republican counterparts that the position the Democrats take is, should Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein be fired from their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, they would consider it a serious constitutional violation rather than mere political disagreement.
While Trump has expressed his disdain for the investigation, lately referring to it on Twitter as a witch hunt, other reports are he has no intention of firing Mueller but would instead take the recommendation of some Republican lawmakers and bring in a second special counsel to investigate possible corruption of the FBI related to the Steele dossier and misuse of the FISA court.
Democrats, for their part, keep the issue of Mueller’s possible termination front and center, even expressing Thursday they worry it might happen while Congress is on a two-week break.
Trump indicated Thursday, at the end of a trade discussion on China, he is still interested in personally speaking with Mueller.