Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has given Mitch McConnell a choice. He can either protect Robert Mueller or go down with Trump on the Russia scandal.
By vowing to kill Trump’s judicial nominees if Mueller is not protected, Flake has pushed Mitch McConnell into a corner. McConnell wants those judicial confirmations more than anything else in the world, but Flake as a member of the Judiciary Committee has the ability to kill dozens of the nominations and force McConnell to start all over again next year because the nominations do not carry over to the new Congress.
The choice seems simple on the surface. Majority Leader McConnell should allow the protections for Mueller to be attached to the government funding bill, which Trump can’t veto without shutting down the government. However, Mitch McConnell is now Trump’s last line of Russia scandal defense. McConnell publicly promised to block the Mueller protections legislation from ever seeing the light of day, because the pressure the pressure is on him from the White House to protect Trump.
Mitch McConnell’s refusal to stand with Obama in calling out the Russian election attack is one of the main reasons that Trump won the White House. Sen. McConnell is already eyeballs deep into the Russia scandal, and without a Republican House to act as Trump’s Russia firewall, the heat is all on McConnell.
For a person of ethics and public service who loved their country, the choice would be easy. Mueller would have already been protected, but Mitch McConnell is not that person.
The odds are that McConnell will pass the legislation to protect Mueller. Jeff Flake has him over a barrel, and the consequences of not giving Flake what he wants aren’t just lost judicial confirmations, but McConnell going down with Trump on the Russia scandal.
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