Jeff Flake - U.S. Senator ~ Arizona

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today took to the Senate floor with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in another attempt to secure immediate passage of S. 2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. The bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in April by a bipartisan vote of 14-7, would protect the integrity of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The bill was blocked by an objection from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). Flake has vowed to block all judicial nominees until this legislation receives a full Senate vote:

“One wouldn’t expect that such an investigation would be controversial, but it somehow warranted a tweet from the president earlier this week, calling special counsel Mueller a ‘conflicted prosecutor gone rogue’ and claiming that the ‘$30 million witch-hunt’ is doing nothing but ruin lives. To be clear, this is the same investigation that brought indictments for more than a dozen Russian nationalists for attempting to influence the 2016 election. Why shouldn’t we be up in arms about that? My colleagues and I will not rest until this body acts to protect the special counsel and this vital investigation.”

Video of Flake’s remarks can be viewed here.

A complete transcript of Flake’s prepared remarks can be viewed below.

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Madam President, I rise today to once again speak in defense of special counsel Robert Mueller, and to speak about the importance of the investigation he is leading into the attacks on our electoral system during the lead-up to the 2016 election.

One wouldn’t expect that such an investigation would be controversial, but it somehow warranted a tweet from the president earlier this week, calling special counsel Mueller a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue” and claiming that the “$30 million witch hunt” is doing nothing but ruin lives.

To be clear, this is the same investigation that brought indictments for more than a dozen Russian nationalists for attempting to influence the 2016 election. Why shouldn’t we be up in arms about that?

Even so, the president has made it clear that he wants the investigation reigned in or terminated altogether.

 But the findings of this investigation are too important to our national security and the well-being of our democratic institutions to be halted or watered down.

Mr. Mueller must be able to preserve the work he has done by completing a thorough investigation, and his findings must be made public.

Legislation has been proposed to ensure this outcome.

S. 2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, serves one purpose, and that is to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s investigation and prevent the executive branch from inappropriately interfering in an independent investigation in the future.

This legislation was passed out of the Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan manner nearly eight months ago and has been awaiting action on the Senate floor ever since.

My colleagues have said that this legislation isn’t necessary because there hasn’t been any indication that Mr. Mueller will be removed from office.

But after the forced resignation of the Attorney General on the day after the election, it is clear that something must be done to protect Mr. Mueller’s investigation, and to ensure the future independence of our justice system in America.

So a few weeks ago, my colleague from Delaware, Senator Coons, and I came to the Senate floor to ask for unanimous consent to bring to the floor S. 2644.

After our efforts were blocked with an objection, we promised to come to the floor again and again as many times as needed, to ensure that this important legislation receives a vote.

My colleagues and I will not rest until this body acts to protect the special counsel and this vital investigation.

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