WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Monday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall delivered a statement urging members of Congress in both parties to be prepared to defend Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and President Trump’s campaign.
Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, authored an amendment in July to prevent the unlawful firing of Mueller. The amendment was included on a unanimous voice vote in the fiscal year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies funding bill.
Udall’s amendment to the Senate Committee’s report directs the leadership of the U.S. Department of Justice to adhere to the rule of law and fully comply with the department’s special counsel regulations, which clearly state that the attorney general cannot fire Mueller without cause.
Udall issued the following statement:
“Today’s news is sobering: The former highest-ranking leader of President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, and his Trump campaign deputy and business partner, Rick Gates, were indicted by an independent grand jury on charges that they failed to properly disclose that they made tens of millions of dollars representing a foreign government, lied to the Justice Department about that work, and hid their millions from the U.S. in illegal offshore accounts. Another Trump campaign official has already pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with a Russian individual with ‘substantial connections’ with Russian government officials who discussed possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. These indictments and guilty plea demonstrate beyond any doubt that this is a consequential investigation, and it must be allowed to move forward without political interference. Any attempt to undermine this investigation would amount to obstruction of justice and sabotaging the rule of law.
“Congress should take any and all necessary steps on a bipartisan basis to protect the special counsel from being removed for anything other than just cause. And I challenge all of my fellow members of Congress in both parties to join together and promise swift and decisive action to defend the Constitution if President Trump tries to fire Special Counsel Mueller or issue a pardon of his associates.”