Last year, when Robert Mueller was hired to investigate a possible interference by Russia in the presidential election, the Republicans in congress fully supported his work. There was talk of a special prosecutor statute going through the house, and Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, even defended the investigation saying, “Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”
Recently, the Republican tides seem to be shifting away from full support of the Mueller investigation as the party unites around Trump. The move likely began with the passage of the tax cut, a boon for the Republican congress, and was further cemented with the ousting of Steve Bannon. This shift can be seen even in more moderate circles, as can be seen by the columnist David Brooks calling Trump “more competent and informed than widely believed.”
Even with US intelligence reports concluding that Russia’s goals included helping Trump win, Republicans, conservative news sources, and Trump are still singing no collusion, and now they are even claiming it is something the Democrats believe as well. Trump told the New York Times, “Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. … I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion.”
The statement is categorically false. Feinstein hasn’t said anything even resembling Trump’s statement. Leading Democrats think their is a “great deal” of evidence supporting collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. Democrats in the Senate even released a report about Russia’s campaign interference that recommended protective measures. The report received no support or signatures from Republicans.
Unfortunately, Democrats may still be banking on bipartisan support of the investigation, thinking that Mueller is protected from a Trump firing, but if the alleged investigation of the FBI for “liberal bias is any indication, Republicans may do very little to stop Trump from purging Mueller and the Department of Justice.