- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Liberal political advocacy group Common Cause on Tuesday added to the speculation over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election — saying that the country needs to step above political squabbling and create an independent investigation into the matter.

“Even if Mueller is retained, Americans might not even receive a report from Mueller at the end of his investigation,” Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause vice president for litigation and policy, wrote in a statement.

On Monday, rumors that President Trump was considering firing Mr. Mueller set the Washington rumor mill into overdrive.

Republicans have complained that the legal team Mr. Mueller has compiled to investigate the Russian election issue is stacked with Democrats who are unlikely to be fair. The White House has dismissed the Russia investigation as a “hoax” and “witch hunt.”

On Monday, Chris Ruddy, a close friend of Mr. Trump and CEO of media company Newsmax, told public TV that the president is “considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel. He’s weighing that option.”

Senior White House aides later pushed back on that claim.

Still, many Republicans, who initially applauded Mr. Mueller’s appointment last month to take over the Department of Justice’s Russia probe after the president fired FBI Director James B. Comey — have voiced skepticism of the new investigation.

Democrats shot back with a warning to Mr. Trump not to fire Mr. Mueller.

On Tuesday, Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said if Mr. Mueller is fired, then Congress would likely reappoint him.

For Common Cause, the openness of the investigation is key.

“Congress must still pass a law to create an independent commission, with a mission that is broader than a criminal investigation and will operate with more transparency,” Mr. Ryan wrote Tuesday.

The group added that its national membership will start calling on Congress on Wednesday to create an independent investigation.

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