Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey tried…
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey tried to force the vote unanimously, but it meant that it could be blocked by just a senator, as Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah made Wednesday.
Senate Majority Mitch McConnell has argued, as late as Tuesday, that the bill is not necessary because he believes there is no indication. President Donald Trump moves to fire Mueller.
Flake contests McConnell’s argument in his speech before his vote is blocked.
“Why should not we be up in arms about this?” Flake said he read some of Trump’s latest tweets about Mueller. “Should we here in the senate be okay?” I argue no, we should not be. “
“With the chairman tweeting regularly ̵
1; every day – the special council’s opposite is that he is leading so-called” 12 angry democrats “and demeaning and ridiculing him in every way,” Flake, retiring at the end of his term in January , continued. “To be so sanguine about the chances that he gets fired is my stupidity.”
In his comments, Booker pointed to Trump’s latest tweets about Mueller and his nomination of actor General Matt Whitaker, a vocal critic of Mueller’s investigation. In his capacity as prosecutor’s office, Whitaker now monitors the Mueller survey.
“We know that the special council’s office is in danger,” said Booker.
In his opposition to the bill, Lee quoted late justice Antonin Scalia’s minority opinion in Morrison v. Olson, the Supreme Court, which held the process of appointing an independent council under a bill approved forty years ago. The law’s authority has expired.
“As the Justice Scalia explains, we can not convert an office like this, an office like the former existing office of independent adviser without creating a de facto fourth government foundation that fundamentally undermines the principles of liberation of powers that are so the core of our freedom, says Lee.
Coons said he is convinced if the bill was taken to a floor vote, it would have the 60 votes needed to pass. He says he will continue to drive it.
Aides to Senators knew that the bill would be blocked and hope that this effort is about creating momentum and keeping pressure on leadership. Flake and Coons had previously tried to run such a bill just after Whitaker’s appointment earlier this month, after the resignation of then Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The bill was also blocked.
On Tuesday, Senate source CNN announced that republicans may let count to come to the vote in an attempt to win over Flake who has promised to vote against ongoing nominations before the court until the action is considered by the House. Flake can not only slow down the nominations on the floor but exert more influence as a member of the Senate Court.
CNN’s Alex Rogers contributed to this report.