The most senior Republican in Congress, Mitch McConnell, remains silent amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the GOP’s growing concerns that Trump may oust the special counsel.
The Senate majority leader has yet to comment on the President’s Twitter assault on Mueller which culminated Monday when Trump hired a vocal critic of the special counsel as the newest member of his legal team, Bloomberg says.
However, even though Republicans fear that Mueller may be fired, few have threatened to take action if that happens. McConnell, who will likely face questions about the prosecutor, has so far taken an approach of not saying much.
Back in January, McConnell said he saw no need to pass proposed legislation to protect Mueller because he knew of no “official” White House effort to undermine him. Some Democrats, however, say that position can no longer be held.
“The presumption of that response has now been exploded by both the President and his lawyers,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
Lawmakers’ concerns have been quelled by statements from Trump attorney Ty Cobb and White House officials that President Trump wasn’t planning to fire Mueller. However, Trump continued to attack the investigation as a “witch hunt,” and hired Joseph diGenova, a former federal prosecutor who has said the President is the victim of a “brazen plot” by the FBI and the Justice Department. DiGenova has also expressed criticism of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees Mueller’s investigation.
His addition to Trump’s team may reflect growing dissatisfaction by the President with his lawyers who have assured him that he should let the Mueller probe take its course. The attacks have alarmed a number of Senate Democrats, some of whom are pressing their colleagues not just for statements but also to back legislation to protect the special counsel.