FAIRBANKS (AP) — Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said this week that the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller III should be allowed to proceed to its natural end and that she would support legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to protect the inquiry.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that in an interview on Wednesday with its editorial board, Murkowski also praised the FBI and said the agency has “a serious and significant role” in the investigation.
“If the investigation takes them to an additional turn that needs to be followed, I think this is what we’re asking for when we ask for an independent investigation,” she said. “That means that the president can’t meddle. That means that the attorney general can’t meddle. That means that the United States Senate can’t meddle, and I just firmly believe that they should be able to take it where it goes.”
Murkowski added, however, that she doesn’t want to see the investigation go on indefinitely.
She said she thinks “people of goodwill” are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“I do not subscribe that this is some kind of a witch hunt,” she said, referring to President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated criticism of the special counsel inquiry into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election and that now appears to have spread to other matters involving Trump and his associates.
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week in a bipartisan vote approved a bill that would provide for judicial review of a president’s firing of a special counsel.
The counsel would have 10 days to seek an expedited review of his or her firing under the proposal. The bill also would require the attorney general to report to Congress if a special counsel is fired or appointed and to provide Congress with details if the scope of the investigation changes.
Murkowski said she is inclined to support the bill if it reaches the Senate floor.
“I have had good discussion with colleagues about this legislation,” Murkowski said. “So I have said that I would consider supporting it, and based on what passed out of committee, if it comes to the floor, unless something changes I’m prepared to support it.”