Cohen Slams House Judiciary Committee’s Inaction on Protecting Special Counsel, Probing Russian Collusion
WASHINGTON – At a House Judiciary Committee markup, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) called on the Committee Chairman to schedule a hearing on a bill setting the standards for firing special counsels, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is pursuing an investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia in last year’s election. He said the bill, H.R. 3771, the Special Counsel Integrity Act, and the issue, are clearly within the jurisdiction of the committee. See his committee remarks here.
“The president never declared he wasn’t going to fire (FBI Director James) Comey, but he fired Comey …When somebody comes at him like Mr. Comey did and like Mr. Mueller has, there’s a goodly chance he will fire him. But the issue is what standards should there be to determine whether he should be fired. The president is not the king…The president doesn’t have unlimited powers…When a president is being investigated by a special counsel established by law to look into charges that he has basically mutilated our democracy, then we should look into that bill that Mr. (John) Conyers has filed and that should be our first priority…
“It’s not the issue of whether or not you believe Trump’s not going to fire him; it’s what the law should be if he changes his mind, and for the next president and the next president,” he said.
“The special counsel is a special type of employee, especially when he’s investigating the President of the United States for collusion with Russia, for destroying our democracy and for flaunting his and his campaign associates’ activities with Russia which they have constantly lied about…This committee has been made a mockery and a joke of by not taking up any issues dealing with that. We have a duty to do it.”
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard evidence that Russian agents used Facebook and Twitter to sow dissention and raise polarizing hot-button social issues such as immigration, Black Lives Matter, “Islamization” of civil law, and gun rights and reached 126 million Americans, including targeted voters in swing states.