Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | lindsey graham | mueller | accountable | grand jury | leaks

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Mueller 'Accountable' for Grand Jury Leaks

(Fox News/"America's Newsroom")

By    |   Friday, 04 Aug 2017 12:14 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday he's introduced a bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired while he's investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election because he wants to make sure the former FBI director can do his job "without threat or fear" that President Donald Trump will dismiss him.

At the same time, Graham told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" that he holds Mueller "accountable" for leaks leading to news reports that he had impaneled a grand jury to take part in the probe.

"He is running the grand jury process," said Graham. "I'll respect it, but do your work behind closed doors professionally. Work with the Trump team when you need to."

But if there are constant leaks coming out from the grand jury, Mueller will need to be held accountable for that, said Graham.

"That's not fair to the president," the senator continued. "It's not fair to the president to have these conversations with foreign leaders in The Washington Post's front page. You can't run the White House this way, and no American, including President Trump or his team, should have the contents of a grand jury leaked out into the press selectively.

"If that happens then Mueller and his team will be held to account."

Meanwhile, Graham said he finds "no evidence of a crime by President Trump or his team," but also no reason to fire Mueller.

"If [Trump] can show me a reason to fire him, bring it on," the senator said, but if Mueller has proof of a crime from Trump or his team, he should also "bring it on."

"At the end of the day, I want to protect the process, but I see nothing yet that the Trump people have done wrong," said Graham.

His bill specifies that if Mueller is fired from the investigation, three judges would examine the circumstances and see if the facts apply to the Department of Justice's regulations.

"If it's a legitimate firing, off he goes," Graham said. "If the judges think it's not legitimate, then we'll have a time-out and get to deal with the issue. A lot of people in the country want to make sure he can do his job without threat or fear."

He pointed out that Ken Starr, the special prosecutor investigating former President Bill Clinton, was a Republican, and the people working for him were Republicans, and being from an opposite party is "no reason to disqualify somebody from doing an investigation, unless they have a conflict of interest."

Graham, speaking before Attorney General Jeff Sessions' press conference on White House leaks, said he believes it will take "somebody to go to jail" to make them stop.

"I've never seen anything like this, but never transcripts of presidential phone calls," said Graham. "How would you like to be a world leader talking to President Trump? This undermines his ability to be an effective president. It has to stop."

The United States is a city of process, not of outcome, and must follow legal process, Graham continued.

"Nobody is above the law in America," he said. "You don't have the right if you work in the White House or you are a holdover from the Obama administration or professional bureaucrat to take the law in your own hands. That's not the way we work. Somebody needs to go to jail."

Graham said he applauds Sessions' efforts, as leakers are "hurting the ability of the country to function and hurting the presidency itself."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday he's introduced a bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired while he's investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election because he wants to make sure the former FBI director can do his job "without threat or fear"...
lindsey graham, mueller, accountable, grand jury, leaks
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2017-14-04
Friday, 04 Aug 2017 12:14 PM
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