Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t always the easier person to defend, but he’s come through in the clutch more often than not over the last three years. He did so again this week when he stood in the way of a bill – pushed by Democrats and a handful of misguided Republicans – to give blanket legislative protection to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Such a bill would have been a constitutional disgrace, just as Mueller’s original appointment was. Not to mention, it would have been a political disaster, granting Mueller a legitimacy that he has not earned. McConnell made the right choice.
The bill was headed nowhere fast, anyway. What do people like Jeff Flake think was going to happen when it hit the president’s desk? Has Trump offered any view of this witch hunt that indicates he would have signed a piece of legislation solidifying Mueller’s witch hunt into law? If he did, we must have missed it. He would have vetoed this bill in a heartbeat – a move that, by itself, would only give Mueller more ammunition for his outlandish obstruction of justice theory. The only crimes Mueller has been able to find have been created by the investigation itself; this would have been just one more example of that vicious circle.
Every facet of our Constitution and the laws which are derived from that document point to the President’s power to appoint and fire members of the executive branch. This is perhaps his ultimate power – his ultimate reason for existing. Among the people he is authorized to fire? The FBI director and the Attorney General of the Justice Department. And so the Senate is going to make it illegal for him to fire the “special counsel?” How absurd. If Trump can fire Comey and Sessions, he can damn sure fire Robert Mueller.
In a column this week, National Review’s Rich Lowry pointed out the bizarre logic that would make a Mueller Protection Bill necessary or even possible.
“In compelling Senate testimony, Yale law professor Akhil Amar explained the constitutional problems with the Mueller protection bill,” Lowry noted. “One is that to be constitutional, the special counsel must be an inferior officer. Otherwise, he has to be confirmed by the Senate, which Mueller wasn’t. And if he’s an inferior officer, he can be fired. Mueller can’t be an inferior officer in some respects and a hypersuperior officer in others, enjoying protections from his ouster that even Cabinet officials don’t enjoy.”
In truth, Mueller already has all the protection he needs. By firing him, Trump would invite a deluge of political disaster upon the White House and he would spark a fire in the Democrat-controlled House that would be difficult to put out. Far better to simply let Mueller finish his witch hunt, publish his meaningless report, and deliver the U.S. from this sad saga as soon as possible.