Quantcast
Connect with us

Special counsel protection bill stalls in US Senate — so Jeff Flake goes out in a blaze of glory with judge protest

Published

on

Legislation to protect the special counsel’s office probe into possible Russian election interference stalled in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, spurring Republican Senator Jeff Flake to make good on his threat of opposing judicial nominations until the bill moves forward.

Fellow Republican Vice President Mike Pence was called in as president of the Senate to break a tie vote on advancing Thomas Farr’s nomination as a U.S. district judge in North Carolina, after Flake voted “no.”

Flake is a strong advocate for the protection bill, known as the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which would make it harder for President Donald Trump to undermine the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The measure has already been approved at the committee level with support from both parties.

Trump has called Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which is also looking into possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, a witch hunt. Russia denies interfering in the 2016 election and Trump has denied any collusion occurred.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking to reporters earlier on Wednesday, Flake, who is retiring soon, said he believed the bill could pass but that he had been told “somebody will block it.”

“So my commitment to not vote for judges before the committee or on the floor until we get this done stands,” Flake said.

Shortly afterward, Republican Senator Mike Lee took to the floor to block the bill, saying it went against the U.S. Constitution and gave the special counsel’s office too much power, “creating a de facto fourth branch of government.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Flake in turn put the Farr nomination in jeopardy, creating a tie with his vote.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, canceled a meeting of the panel set for Thursday. A brief statement by the committee did not give a reason for the cancellation.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had said on Tuesday he would “probably” block a renewed effort to bring the special counsel protection bill to a vote, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.”

ADVERTISEMENT

With Republicans holding a slim majority in the Senate, Trump’s nominees should win approval without much resistance.

Farr already faced a tough time, however, with moderate and liberal progressive groups objecting to his positions on civil rights. As a lawyer for North Carolina in 2014 he defended the state’s voter registration law, which civil rights groups said intentionally suppressed minority votes.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; ddditional reporting by Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Jeffrey Epstein abused new victims while out on work release as part of controversial plea deal: lawyer

Published

on

Jeffrey Epstein took advantage of his controversial lenient plea deal to sexually abuse at least one victim while out on work release, according to a victim's attorney.

Lawyer Brad Edwards said the well-connected financier was permitted to have visitors while he was supposed to be working during his 13-month jail sentence, and he said Epstein manipulated at least one person into sexual activity, reported The Daily Beast.

Continue Reading

CNN

GOP congressman withers on CNN after host points out Trump’s America-bashing hypocrisy

Published

on

Republican members of Congress have had different responses to President Donald Trump’s overtly racist attack on four Democratic women in Congress: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — all of whom he told to go back to the countries they came from (three were born in the U.S., and all four are U.S. citizens). Many Republicans in Congress have avoided speaking out, while a minority of them have condemned Trump’s comments and some have passionately defended them. One of the defenders, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, was grilled by CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Tuesday and insisted that there was nothing racist about Trump’s comments.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Cardi B praises presidential candidate Bernie Sanders

Published

on

Rapper Cardi B voiced support Tuesday for US Senator Bernie Sanders, a progressive mounting a campaign for the Democratic nomination, saying voters "let him down" in his 2016 bid against Hillary Clinton.

"I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I'm really sad how we let him down in 2016," the outspoken critic of President Donald Trump tweeted to her more than six million followers.

"This man been fighting for equal rights,HUMAN rights for such along time," the Bronx artist wrote of Sanders, an independent senator from the state of Vermont. "Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign."

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image