Lawmakers push bill protecting Robert Mueller probe amid demonstrations

Nov. 8 (UPI) — Sens. Jeff Flake and Christopher Coons on Thursday said they plan to push legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as supporters of the probe demonstrated across the country.

Flake, R-Ariz., said he and Coons, D-Del., will address the bill next week when the Senate convenes.

“I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor,” Flake tweeted. “After the firing of [Attorney General Jeff Sessions], it is more important than ever to protect the special counsel.”

Some lawmakers have criticized President Donald Trump’s request for Sessions’ resignation Wednesday as an attempt to interfere in Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether the Trump campaign colluded.

Trump repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s probe. The recusal came after it was revealed he didn’t disclose a meeting with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during his confirmation hearings.

Sessions put Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge of the probe, but with Sessions’ resignation, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been critical of the investigation, will oversee it.

“It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions’ firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by [Trump] to undermine [and] end Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California tweeted Wednesday.

Hundreds of people protested any attempts by the Trump administration to suppress the Mueller probe in demonstrations across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

“Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation,” a group that organized the demonstrations said on its website, Trump is Not Above the Law. “Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice.”

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