Past Statements By Numerous Republican Senators & Representatives In Opposition To President Trump Firing Special Counsel Mueller & In Support Of Mueller

The following statements were made in the past by numerous Republican Senators and Representatives in opposition to President Donald Trump firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and in support of Mr. Mueller as Special Counsel.

The statements were organized by Diane Russell of Maine from information gathered through the efforts of a coalition of groups that are watchdogging the Russia investigation and President Trump’s activities.

CONTACTS:

ACLU, Gabriela Meléndez Olivera, 202-715-0826, gmelendez@aclu.org

Common Cause, Dale Eisman, 202-736-5788deisman@commoncause.org

Democracy 21, Fred Wertheimer, 202-355-9600, fwertheimer@democracy21.org

Norman Eisen, Chief White House ethics lawyer (2009-2011), 202-238-3178, norman.eisen@gmail.com

Free Speech for People, John Bonifaz, 413-253-2700, jbonifaz@freespeechforpeople.org

People For the American Way, Marge Baker, 202-467-2334, mbaker@pfaw.org

Public Citizen, Lisa Gilbert, 202-454-5188, lgilbert@citizen.org

Revolving Door Project, Jeff Hauser, 202-957-9719, hauser@cepr.net

Richard Painter, Chief White House ethics lawyer (2005-2007), rpainter@umn.edu

Diane Russell, 207-272-9182, dianerussell207@gmail.com

United to Protect Democracy, Jesse Lee, 301-943-0556, jesse.lee@protectdemocracy.org 

 

Past Statements By Republicans On Opposing Robert Mueller Being Fired By President Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

“I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller. I think it was a good choice.”The Hill: GOP Leaders Are Unified: Firing Mueller A Bad Idea (6/13/17)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI):

“I think the best thing to do is to let Robert Mueller do his job. I think the best vindication for the president is to let this investigation go on independent and thoroughly. …That to me is the smartest thing to do, the best thing to do, hopefully it will happen.” The Hill: GOP Leaders Are Unified: Firing Mueller A Bad Idea (6/13/17)

Representative Chris Collins (R-NY):

“At the end of the day it’s ill-advised even if the president could [fire Mueller]. But best we can figure out, he couldn’t anyway.” Buzzfeed: Congressional Republicans Stand Behind Russia Investigator Amid Rumors That Trump Plans To Fire Him (6/13/17)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME):

 Firing Mueller would “certainly be an extraordinarily unwise move.” Politico: Republicans to Trump: Hands off Mueller (6/12/17)

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN):

“I can’t give credence to reports of [firing Mueller], it’s such an out-of-bounds thought. … I can’t imagine that anyone in the White House is seriously discussing that. So it’s hard for me to even respond in a serious way. It’s beyond possibility to me that anyone is considering taking that kind of action.” Buzzfeed: Congressional Republicans Stand Behind Russia Investigator Amid Rumors That Trump Plans To Fire Him (6/13/17) 

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

Asked if he had seen anything that might warrant Trump firing Mueller, Senator Cornyn said  “I’ve seen no reason for that.” Asked if he trusted Mueller to run the investigation, he said,  “I do.”  The Hill: GOP Leaders Are Unified: Firing Mueller A Bad Idea (6/13/17) 

Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA):

Mueller is “a very distinguished man [with] impeccable credentials.” Buzzfeed: Congressional Republicans Stand Behind Russia Investigator Amid Rumor That Trump Plans To Fire Him (6/13/17)

“Let Mr. Mueller complete his work. … Less is more. Say little. There’s nothing to say about this if I were president.” The Hill: GOP Rep: Let Mueller Do His Job (6/18/17)

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA):

“Bob Mueller is not biased, nor is Jim Comey. …They’re good men and they’re professionals and they’re going to do their job.” The Philadelphia Inquirer: As Mueller comes under fire from Trump, two Pa. Republicans defend him (6/16/17)

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ):

“I think there’s a lot of confidence in Mueller around here. … We’ve all dealt with him.” Politico: Republicans to Trump: Hands off Mueller (6/12/17)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

Firing Mueller “would be a disaster. … There’s no reason to fire Mueller. What’s he done to be fired?” Politico: Republicans to Trump: Hands off Mueller (6/12/17) 

Representative Peter King (R-NY):

“I think Bob Mueller’s as good as you’re going to find. I don’t see any reason to remove him now. … I think it would taint [the investigation] more to remove him now.” Politico: Republicans to Trump: Hands off Mueller (6/12/17)

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL):

Firing Mueller “would obviously be a bad move. I don’t think he’s really pondering it.” Buzzfeed: Congressional Republicans Stand Behind Russia Investigator Amid Rumor That Trump Plans To Fire Him (6/13/17) 

Senator John McCain (R-AZ):

“He’s a very much trusted individual and had an outstanding record as head of the FBI.” Politico: Republicans to Trump: Hands off Mueller (6/12/17)

Representative Pat Meehan (R-PA):

“I know Bob Mueller personally. … He has impeccable integrity.” The Philadelphia Inquirer: As Mueller comes under fire from Trump, two Pa. Republicans defend him (6/16/17)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):

“I believe he is going to conduct a full and fair and thorough investigation that we should have confidence in. … I’ll continue to believe that based on his reputation and years of service to our country unless there’s any evidence to the contrary.” The Hill: Rubio: “We should have confidence in” Mueller’s investigation (6/18/17)

Senator Marco Rubio says that the possibility of President Trump firing Mueller and Rosenstein is “not going to happen.”  CNN “State of the Union”: Rubio: Trump will not fire Mueller, Rosenstein (6/16/17)

Representative Mark Sanford (R-SC):

“I think [firing Mueller would be] a form of political suicide. If you fire one guy, then you fire another, all of a sudden it begins to look like you’re trying to hide something, look like you have a reason to want the investigations to go away. … It doesn’t pass the smell test. … I think people would go nuts.” The Hill: GOP Leaders Are Unified: Firing Mueller A Bad Idea (6/13/17)

Senator John Thune (R-SD):

Mueller “is a man of integrity … and he needs to be able to do his work. … And I think it’s better for all of us if that work continues. It’s – obviously he is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts, and I think that’s his role. And I think we ought to let him continue to do that and I assume at some point there will be an end to all this. He’ll have done his investigation and there will be whatever findings there are.” MSNBC: GOP Senator: Mueller is a Man of Integrity (6/15/17)

Past Statements By Republicans Supporting Robert Mueller As Special Counsel

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI):

“My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead. That is what we’ve been doing here in the House. The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice.” Associated Press via Talking Points Memo: Ryan Deflects Questions On Trump Jr.’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer (7/12/17)

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC):

 “The appointment of former FBI Director and respected lawyer Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation is a positive development and will provide some certainty for the American people that the investigation will proceed fairly and free of political influence.”  Joint Press Statement From Senate Intel Committee Leaders, Senators Burr & Warner (5/17/17) 

Former Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT):

 “Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.” The Washington Post: Finally something Democrats and Republicans agree on: Former FBI director is right pick for special counsel (5/17/17) and via Twitter (5/17/17) 

Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO):

 “Smart move to appoint a former FBI director as a special counsel to lead the FBI Russian probe.” The Denver Post: Colorado’s delegation welcomes appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel (5/18/17)

“[Mueller] has got a good background in terms of not being partisan and I hope he gets down to the bottom of what really is a growing list of allegations.” The Washington Post: Finally something Democrats and Republicans agree on: Former FBI director is right pick for special counsel (5/17/17)

Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA):

 “With Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel, the American people can have confidence in a fair and thorough investigation as well as confidence in the eventual outcome.” Press Statement (5/17/17)

Mueller’s appointment was the “[r]ight thing to do and the right choice.” The Washington Post: Finally something Democrats and Republicans agree on: Former FBI director is right pick for special counsel (5/17/17)

Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR):

“As a former FBI Director of 12 years with a strong track record of independence, Robert Mueller is fully equipped to perform a credible investigation. Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rosenstein has picked the right man for the job.” Press Release (5/18/17)

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME):

“The Deputy Attorney General made an excellent choice in selecting former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel. He has sterling credentials and is above reproach.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

“Robert Mueller is perhaps the single-most qualified individual to lead such an investigation, in my view, and he’s certainly independent.” Press Statement (5/18/17)

Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA):

 “Appointing Robert Mueller was the right decision.” Press Statement (5/18/17)

Representative John Culberson (R-TX):

“Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is highly regarded, and he is an excellent choice to handle this investigation.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT):

 “That’s why the appointment on May 17 of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel at DOJ is the right thing to do: he knows the Bureau, he knows the agents and he is above reproach.” Press Statement (5/19/17) 

Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA):

“Former FBI Director Bob Mueller is a strong and capable investigator with an impeccable character who I believe is perfectly suited to carry out the investigation in the Russian interference in our nation’s 2016 election.” Press Statement (5/18/17) 

Representative Ron Estes (R-KS):

“I have confidence in former Director Mueller and the professionals at the U.S. Department of Justice to give us a full and fact-based account of any possible efforts to undermine our election process.” Press Statement (5/18/17) 

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA):

“I fully support Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s decision to appoint former FBI Director Mueller – who I served under as an FBI Special Agent – as special counsel.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO):

“I fully support the decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the ongoing investigation into Russia. We need to get all the facts, and Mueller is the type of person who is respected and trusted by both Republicans and Democrats and will put country over politics.” Colorado Politics: Colorado delegation applauds appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in Russia probe (5/17/17)

Mueller has “an incredible reputation. … It’s the right decision. … Let’s get the facts, let’s get the information, and let us proceed with all haste.” The Atlantic: Mueller Pick Meets A Rare Bipartisan Consensus (5/17/17)

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA):

“Former Director Mueller is a well-respected law enforcement professional. … I am confident that he will serve with integrity and professionalism, and will conduct a thorough and fair investigation.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA):

“Mueller has a strong reputation for independence, and comes with the right credentials for this job.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ):

“I think there’s a lot of confidence in Mueller around here. … We’ve all dealt with him.” Politico: Republicans To Trump: Hands Off Mueller (6/12/17) 

Representative Andy Harris (R-MD):

“Mr. Mueller is widely respected, and I am confident that he will conduct a thorough and nonpartisan investigation into this matter.” Press Statement (5/18/17) 

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND):

Mueller’s appointment “is a good choice.” Press Statement via kfgo.com (5/18/17)

Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL):

“The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election is a welcome addition to the ongoing effort to establish the facts. Mueller proved himself as a well-respected and professional law professional. … Mueller’s fair and even-handed approach will ensure he follows the evidence, brings forth the facts, and illuminates the truth.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA):

“I have faith that Robert Mueller will provide the independence necessary to be sure this investigation is conducted with the trust and confidence of the American people.” Los Angeles Times: Republicans and Democrats in California’s congressional delegation praise special counsel pick Robert Mueller (5/17/17)

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL):

Mueller is “a well respected and trusted veteran of the FBI. … [T]his special counsel appointment is a step in the right direction on getting answers on the many questions we have with Russian meddling in our election and our democracy.” USA Today: Rare bipartisan moment: Both sides embrace Robert Mueller as special counsel (5/17/17) 

Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO):

“I am pleased that the Trump Administration has appointed an honorable, respected, and capable man like former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel. … I know that Director Mueller will work hard to find the full and complete truth surrounding the allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator John McCain (R-AZ):

Mueller is “highly regarded by Republicans and Democrats. All of a sudden now I see Republicans who used to praise him to the skies are now saying, ‘Aw wait a minute. He’s not.” Where? How? Tell me what he’s done that would in any way intimate that this guy is not one of the most trustworthy people in America.” Wall Street Journal: John McCain: Firing Mueller Would Be “Explosive” video (6/13/17) 

Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX):

“Robert Mueller is a man of utmost integrity and character. … [I] believe his background and experience make him an excellent choice for the job. His professionalism will help ensure political bias is avoided during this probe.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ):

“Director Mueller is someone who is free of politics. … He has a long and distinguished career in law enforcement and a tremendously in-depth understanding of the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA):

“Bob Mueller is a man of integrity and I have every confidence he will pursue this investigation and follow the facts, wherever they lead him.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK):

Mueller is “an individual of uncompromising integrity. … this [appointment] is a positive step towards restoring the public’s trust.” Press Statement (5/18/17)

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA):

Mueller’s appointment is “the right decision at the right time, and the right man was chosen for the job. Robert Mueller is a highly respected former FBI Director who has tremendous integrity, and I’m confident he will lead a credible investigation.” Press Statement (5/17/17)

Representative Rob Portman (R-OH):

“The issue of Russian meddling in our election must be investigated fully and former FBI Director Mueller is well qualified to oversee this probe.” USA Today: Rare bipartisan moment: Both sides embrace Robert Mueller as special counsel (5/17/17) 

Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL):

“Former FBI Director Mueller is a man of the utmost integrity. I have complete confidence in his ability to conduct a thorough investigation, wherever the facts may lead.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Ed Royce (R-CA):

“Robert Mueller is the right man to lead this investigation. He’s a strong, independent leader who built an impeccable reputation over decades in law enforcement. And as special counsel, I’m confident he’ll pursue the facts – wherever they may lead.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):

“Mr. Mueller is widely respected for his independence and professionalism. I have confidence that he will conduct a fair and thorough investigation.” Press Statement (5/17/17)

Senator Rubio said he has “no reason” to question the fairness of Mueller’s investigation. “His reputation is stellar.” CNN: Rubio: Trump Firing Mueller “Not Going To Happen” 6/18/17 

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE):

Mueller “is a guy whose career is unimpeachable.” The Washington Post: Sen. Ben Sasse: Mueller “is a guy whose career is unimpeachable” video (5/17/17)

“Robert Mueller is an exceptional public servant. … His record, character, and trustworthiness have been lauded for decades by Republicans and Democrats alike.” Press Statement (5/17/17)

Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH):

“Robert Mueller is a man of the highest integrity and intellect. If there’s anyone who knows how to run a thorough investigation, it’s him. Between his work and the work of the congressional investigations in both the House and Senate, the American people can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Scott Taylor (R-VA):

“[T]he American people need to have the confidence that our most trusted public institutions are independent and objective arbiters of justice. Considering this decision was made by the Deputy Attorney General on the basis of public trust in our process, and not from pervasive partisan politics, I completely support it. Let the facts lie where they may.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Senator Pat Toomey  (R-PA):

“I have every confidence that Robert Mueller will execute these responsibilities with integrity and professionalism.” Press Statement (5/17/17) 

Representative Steve Womack (R-AR):

“I have the utmost confidence in former director Mueller’s ability to lead an independent investigation and give the people what they deserve – the truth.” Press Statement (5/17/17)

Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL):

“The selection of former FBI Director Robert Mueller is an outstanding choice to lead DOJ’s investigation. His reputation in law enforcement and in the Department is impeccable.” Press Statement (5/17/17)