Most thought that everything was on track to shield Special Counsel Robert Mueller from potentially being fired by the president. A bipartisan proposal to shield Mueller from presidential interference was on the table in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee was set to give it their attention next week. There is also a bipartisan House bill that has co-sponsors in the lower chamber. What could stop this momentum?
But yesterday afternoon, the effort to pass legislation protecting Mueller was stopped in its tracks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not allow the bill to come to the floor for a full Senate vote.
“I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor. That’s my responsibility as majority leader. We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview on Fox News.
McConnell maintains that he believes there’s “no indication that Mueller’s going to be fired.”
Some are questioning whether the GOP leader might have missed the president’s very public comments last week.
Now McConnell isn’t calling for Mueller to be fired, and he believes that the special counsel should be allowed to continue his work. He has even warned the president not to interfere with the ongoing investigation. But McConnell is not prepared to do anything to ensure Mueller is shielded from the White House, even if there is bipartisan support for a measure. He believes that wisdom is to hope that Trump acts responsibly.
It may be a gamble, but McConnell is willing to risk that his plan will pay off.