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Schumer Floor Remarks Defending Russia Probe Special Counsel Mueller

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today took to the Senate floor to defend Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller against Republican attacks. Below are his remarks:

I am frankly disturbed by the new strategy on the hard right to discredit Special Counsel Mueller and sully his reputation. Their strategy is clear: they know or suspect the facts might not be good for the President, so they’re trying to vilify the man who’s in charge of finding them. But they’ve chosen the wrong man.

Anyone who engages in these baseless attacks about Mr. Mueller’s character is only heaping dishonor upon themselves. Mueller his known for his service to America, for his integrity, he’s a straight arrow. He’s a Republican.

Only a few weeks ago, these same hard right commentators and pundits were praising Mr. Mueller’s selection and lauding his qualities. Even Attorney General Jeff Sessions has unequivocally praised Mr. Mueller in the past for his service and credibility. Here’s what Sessions said Mueller: his “integrity is undoubted…his experience and love of country is undoubted.” To these hard right commentators who are attacking this honorable man who’s trying to do a job for our country and see that rule of law is obeyed, read what Attorney General Sessions has said. Now, because Director Comey’s testimony has made President Trump’s actions less and less defendable, these hard right commentators have turned tail and started an ad hominem nasty assault on a career public servant and a very fine man.

A close associate of the President, Mr. Christopher Ruddy, has even insinuated that the President might fire Special Counsel Mueller. I can’t think of a worse move for the President at this time. I would just have him look back in time and see what happened to a president who tried to do the same thing.

And I have one question: what are these people who are attacking Mueller afraid of? Are they afraid of what Mr. Mueller is going to find? Is the White House afraid of what Mr. Mueller is going to uncover? It seems pretty obvious that if they were not worried they’d let Mr. Mueller proceed, because they would be confident he would find nothing.

I can find no other legitimate reason why the critics would flip so quickly to attack a man of integrity unless they were worried about what he might find.

Again, if the White House truly has nothing to hide, they ought to encourage Special Counsel Mueller to investigate. They should let him do his job. When people say when there’s smoke there’s fire, they’re pointing to actions like this, and it makes the American people distrustful of the White House and their allies.

I know that all of this probably doesn’t bother former Director Mueller, he’s got a very strong spine, who will go after the facts regardless of the noise around him, but they’re bothersome, they’re wrong, they’re nasty. 

One of the most important things in our democracy is a bedrock faith in the rule of law, that no person if above the rule of law. If the President’s allies are going to attack every single law enforcement agent involved in the Russia investigation for partisan reasons; if the White House ever joins in those attacks; it will greatly erode the American people’s faith in the rule of law and do significant damage to our democracy. At a time when it seems somewhat more fragile than it’s been in the past.

This is not a game. This is not funny. This is a very serious investigation that’s headed by one of the most trusted men in Washington. It is about foreign interference in our elections, something that eats at, that corrodes, the roots of our democracy, the very wellspring of our being and pride as a nation.                    

I’d urge that these attacks on Mr. Mueller be ceased, and that my friends on the other side of the aisle join me in defending his reputation. The critics are going a little too far here.