Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday that he will support a bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from politically motivated firings as he conducts the investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Russia, according to Reuters. Graham urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on the bill. This comes despite the fact that Graham has previously said he doesn’t think Trump’s acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, needs to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe.
“I would certainly vote for it,” Graham told reporters.“I don’t see any movement to get rid of Mueller. But it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future.”
On Sunday, Graham told CBS News he didn’t agree with people worrying that Whitaker’s appointment would allow Trump to interfere with the Mueller investigation.
“I am confident the Mueller investigation will be allowed to come to a good solid conclusion, that there’ll be no political influence put on Mr. Mueller by Mr. Whitaker to do anything other than Mr. Mueller’s job,” he said.
So, to recap: Lindsey Graham thinks that the Mueller probe is in safe hands, is under no threat, and won’t be under threat at any point, but also that there should be legislation protecting the Mueller probe because something might happen in “the future.” Got it.
The Justice Department told Reuters that acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker would consult ethics officials about whether he should recuse himself.
The conversation around protecting Mueller was kickstarted last week when Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons have said they would move to get a floor vote on the bill when Congress resumed session this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously shot down the idea of such a bill.