On Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee single-handedly blocked an effort by Democratic Sens. Chris Coons and Cory Booker and GOP Sen. Jeff Flake to force a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from interference by the Trump administration.
Lee objected to the attempt arguing the bill undermines the separation of powers. He cited the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the Department of Justice lies under the purview of the Department of Justice, which is part of the executive branch.
“The separation of powers protect us. It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree with what every president and every administration always does, but we cannot convert an office like this one without creating a defacto 4th branch of government,” said Lee.
Lee also said the bill was a “solution in search of a problem” as the Trump administration has not done anything to interfere with Mueller’s investigation.
On CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Sen. Flake said protecting Mueller is an urgent matter as President Trump has repeatedly bashed the investigation on Twitter. Trump has also tried to discredit the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt.”
“I don’t think we ought to be sanguine about what is happening there. The president doesn’t have to fire Mueller to affect the investigation,” he said. “With hostility toward Mueller, we ought to be more concerned here. And I just can’t understand why we aren’t.”
Flake said he will continue to vote against President Trump’s judicial nominees until until his bill is given a vote on the Senate floor.