Will Trump Fire Mueller? Democrats Want to Protect Special Counsel Amid FBI Bias Cries

Democrats have stepped up efforts to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from President Donald Trump amid growing criticism of the Trump-Russia inquiry from Republicans and the president’s outside supporters.

Democratic senators this week reportedly resumed efforts to pass legislation that would block Trump from firing Mueller, according to Politico. Doing so, many believe, would be a political quagmire for the president and only increase calls for his impeachment.

Two bipartisan bills, created earlier this year by Democrats Chris Coons and Cory Booker and Republicans Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis, with Democrat Richard Blumenthal serving as co-sponsor to both, would place the judicial branch in the way of any Trump attempt to dismiss Mueller.

Graham and Booker’s bill would require the attorney general to get permission from a federal court to fire any special counsel, while the Coons and Tillis measure would afford Mueller or any special counsel the right to a review of their dismissal.

Blumenthal stated that the two bills should be combined, calling them “absolutely necessary.”

Calls for the bills to go forward increased this week following Trump supporters’ cries for Mueller’s head.

“I feel a sense of urgency to do this—not just for this moment in history, but to create more checks and balances within the system as a whole,”  Booker told reporters, according to Politico.

Still, other lawmakers have questioned the need for such legislation.

“I don’t see any heightened kind of urgency, if you’re talking about some of the reports around Flynn and others,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said. “I don’t see any great risk.”

RTS183PN Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaves the U.S. Capitol Building after meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington June 21. Mueller reached a plea agreement with former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, who agreed to cooperate with the Trump-Russia probe last week. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Mueller reached a plea deal with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last week that some believe could blow open the Russian collusion probe. But Mueller and his team recently have been at the center of reports alleging bias.

The FBI’s head of counterintelligence, Peter Strzok, was removed from Mueller’s team this summer after text messages he exchanged with another Mueller team member, attorney Lisa Page, were found to be anti-Trump and in support of Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to The Washington Post on Saturday.

The texts were exchanged last year during the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and while Strzok and Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, had an extramarital affair, the Post reported.

The report, along with Trump stating on Twitter over the weekend that the FBI’s reputation was “in tatters,” left the investigative agency with something of a black eye, and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley was prompted to investigate “bias” within the FBI, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The conservative group Judicial Watch has exposed other alleged bias against Trump within the Department of Justice, under which the FBI serves, by releasing emails of support sent to then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Yates refused to enforce Trump’s travel ban earlier this year and current Mueller-team prosecutor Andrew Weissman told Yates he was “proud” of her decision. Judicial Watch discovered the email through a Freedom of Information Act request it filed in May.

Trump fired Yates, who warned the administration about Flynn’s alleged misdeeds, for her refusal to enforce the ban.

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