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Meaning. Flake, Coons, Booker Will Ask for Vote on Mueller Protection Bill

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, alongside Sens Democrats. Chris Coons and Cory Booker will address the Senate on Wednesday with the goal of forcing a full vote on a bill designed to protect special advocate Robert Mueller.

But while the bipartisan bill received milestones of support from Republicans – a law protecting Mueller was even passed by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., Says that he "will probably block it again.

Speaking Wednesday on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, Coons said that President Donald Trump posed a threat to Mueller's investigation of Russia. "I do not know what would give me the idea that President Trump could do something unpredictable, if it is that he does it almost every day," he said. Coons.

The legislation protecting the special advocate "is the easiest way possible to prevent a completely predictable constitutional crisis," said Coons.

Flake, who leaves his seat in Arizona's Senate at the end of his tenure, has become one of Trump's most virulent critics in his own party. He has also become one of the most fervent defenders of the Senate as a result of Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and a possible coordination between Russia and personalities related to the Trump campaign.

"This bill is designed to do one thing: protect the integrity of the Special Advisor's investigation and safeguard it from interference by the executive, including those who might -subject to being investigated, "Flake told the Senate earlier in November.

Trump repeatedly reiterated that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin and tried to discredit the probe, calling it a "witch hunt".

The special advocate denied CNBC's request for comment on the bill. A spokesman for McConnell referred to CNBC the remarks of the majority leader on the bill on Tuesday.

Although Flake was sometimes accused of being blinded by his detractors, he took a step forward in November by refusing to vote to advance Trump's judicial nominations to the Judiciary Committee, a threat that Senator John Cornyn, R -Texas, said taken into account.

On Tuesday, Cornyn asked reporters Tuesday whether there would be a vote on the bill to end Flake's blockade during the lame duck session, "If that's what it will take, Yes."

He said the Senate leadership was checking the balance of favors over the bill now "to see where people should give us an idea of ​​what the outcome would be."

A bill protecting the special advocate was passed by the committee in April with the unanimous support of the 10 Democrats on the judicial panel. GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Iowa Judiciary President Chuck Grassley joined Flake to advance the bill.

But when Flake, on November 14, asked the Senate for approval to introduce the bill, McConnell shot him. The rules of the Senate dictate that unanimous consent requests be rejected if only one senator opposes them.

The outgoing Senator from Arizona retaliated by swearing not to vote on Trump's judicial candidates until his bill was put to a vote by the entire Senate.

Meanwhile, Trump intensified his attacks on the special council. "Wait to see how they treat people in a horrible and vicious way, ruining lives so that they refuse to lie," Trump wrote in a series of furious tweets on Tuesday. "Mueller is a prosecutor in conflict turned thug."

On Tuesday, McConnell ignored concerns that Trump would eliminate Mueller. "It's a solution looking for a problem." The president is not going to dismiss Robert Mueller, I do not believe it either, and I do not think he should be allowed to do it. to finish, "McConnell told the press. "We have a lot of things to do to try to finish this year without voting on things that are completely out of place."

When asked if he would block the bill again, McConnell replied, "I would probably, yes."

McConnell said the Senate had other urgent issues to resolve, including the president's judicial appointments and to avoid a possible government stalemate by approving a spending program late in the year. year.

If Mueller were to be fired, the bill would require the Attorney General to provide a specific reason for dismissal. It would also allow the special advocate to challenge his dismissal in federal court and spare all the work done by Mueller prior to his dismissal.

Some conservatives have argued that such a law would violate the separation of powers entrenched in the US Constitution. "I think it's an unconstitutional bill and we're forgetting the lessons we've learned from an independent lawyer, like with Watergate," Cornyn said.

The campaign for Mueller's protection is part of a wave of new developments in the Mueller probe. On Monday, Mueller's lawyers wrote in federal court in Washington claiming that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had lied to the FBI on a "variety" of subjects after signing a deal with advocacy in September.

Manafort, who is currently in jail, was sentenced in August for eight counts of charges brought by the special advocate in Virginia federal court. The charges focused mainly on his past work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, which he had exercised for several years before joining the Trump campaign.

We still do not know what Manafort would have lied about. According to his lawyers, Manafort "believes he has provided truthful information".

A day later, the New York Times announced that one of Manafort's lawyers had informed Trump's lawyers of their discussions with federal investigators. These briefs were provided after Manafort had accepted the plea agreement, the Times reported.

Also on Tuesday, The Guardian announced in a bomb that Manafort had held several clandestine meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London between 2013 and 2016. Manafort, in a statement on Tuesday evening, called the report "totally false and deliberately defamatory."

Supporters of the bill to protect Mueller also sounded the alarm about Trump's choice to temporarily replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, whose appointment was announced less than a day after the November 6 midterm elections, has been labeled a "loyalist" for Trump and a critic of the special council.

Just months after the appointment of special advocate, Whitaker, a former US attorney in Iowa, wrote an editorial for CNN, claiming the investigation was "dangerously close to crossing" of the alleged red line to not look in the trump. the finances of the family.

Graham told reporters on Nov. 15 that Whitaker had assured him at an in camera meeting that Mueller was handling the investigation appropriately, as far as he was concerned. view.

Coons, in "Morning Joe" on Tuesday, said lawmakers on both sides "privately agreed that Whitaker is a less reliable supervisor and may well stumble to interfere in Mueller's investigation."

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