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Warren warns of need to protect Mueller

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that Congress' immediate priorities should be avoiding a constitutional...

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 4:13 PM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 4:13 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that Congress' immediate priorities should be avoiding a constitutional crisis and protecting special counsel Robert Mueller, not impeaching President Donald Trump.

"What Congress needs to do right now is we need to make sure that special (counsel) Mueller is fully protected from being fired by Donald Trump," the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN's John Berman on "New Day," one day after Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes, while ex-Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts, including tax fraud and campaign finance violations.

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When he plead guilty, Cohen implicated Trump himself, admitting that "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," he kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle.

Warren didn't call for Congress to take immediate action against Trump, instead suggesting Congress wait until Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election concludes.

"Protect Robert Mueller, let him finish his investigation, let him make a full and fair report to all of the American people," Warren advised as next steps. "And when we've got that, then we can make a decision on what the appropriate next step is."

She insisted she is not "nervous" about calling for impeachment, but wants "to be effective" and "get all of the evidence."

Warren warned that if Trump fires Mueller, "there is no doubt" it would create a constitutional crisis. Asked if Democrats on the Hill have a plan in place were that to happen, Warren demurred, saying lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would need to "step up and say, 'No, we are still a nation of laws and no one in this country, not even the President of the United States, is above the law.'"

The Massachusetts Democrat is not alone in calling for protections for Mueller. In April, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would make it harder for Mueller to be fired. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News at the time he didn't believe Trump would fire the special counsel, adding he didn't want legislation on the issue.

On "New Day" Wednesday morning, political analyst David Gregory said that after Tuesday's events, impeachment is "a very real prospect" that hinges on Democratic success in the 2018 elections.

"You have a midterm race that is now going to be dominated, as we knew it would be, with the specter, the cloud of the investigation, but also this cloud of corruption in the Republican Party," he said.

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