Sen. Sullivan: Mueller doesn’t need Congress to protect him

Sen. Dan Sullivan. (Photo: Liz Ruskin)

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said he doesn’t think Congress needs to pass a bill to protect the Mueller investigation.

“The president has said, and you know, other members – the majority leader – have said ‘he doesn’t intend to replace Mr. Mueller,'” Sullivan said Tuesday on Talk of Alaska, Alaska Public Media’s call-in show. “I take him at his word on that.”

President Trump has repeatedly railed against Robert Mueller and his team. They are examining Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether anyone from the Trump campaign aided the Russians. Sullivan, though, doesn’t think Mueller needs Congress to intercede to keep his position.

“I’m not sure it’s needed right now,” Sullivan said, echoing what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week.

The bill says Mueller can’t be fired except for good cause, and then he could appeal to a judge.

Sullivan said Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation. But he also said the work needs to begin “wrapping up.” Mueller was appointed a year and a half ago.

Several Senate Republicans, including Lisa Murkowski, have said they’ll join Democrats to pass the Mueller protection bill, if McConnell changes his mind and allows it to come to the floor. Murkowski said she’s not sure the president would fire Mueller but she sees no harm in passing the bill.

Sullivan does see potential harm in it.

“Well, you know, there’s some elements and some people that have raised the constitutionality of that issue,” Sullivan said.

The president has constitutional authority to fire his cabinet members, and Sullivan said his right to fire Mueller may also be protected by the Constitution.