Rep. Ken Buck: President Donald Trump should not be held to perfect standard | MyWindsorNow.com

Rep. Ken Buck: President Donald Trump should not be held to perfect standard

Tyler Silvy
tsilvy@greeleytribune.com

Rep. Ken Buck said Wednesday he's concerned the special counsel investigation has gone beyond its original scope, saying the law allowing the special prosecutor undermines the integrity of U.S. elections.

The Greeley Tribune reached out to Buck and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in the wake of the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, statements from President Donald Trump's attorney regarding the special counsel investigation and tweets from the president on the same topic.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., was quick to offer his take on Twitter last week, saying any effort to interfere with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation would create constitutional crisis and undermine the rule of law.

Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano said the senator's views on the special counsel haven't changed since Mueller was appointed, and Siciliano pointed to Gardner's original statement:

"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 that is respected and trusted by both Republicans and Democrats and will put country over politics."

Buck, a Windsor Republican, has a slightly different view, focusing on recent subpoenas of the Trump Organization as possible evidence the special counsel is overstepping the original scope of the investigation.

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Buck, a former federal prosecutor, didn't directly answer whether he ever found things he wasn't looking for during the course of his investigations. Instead, he said he was never given unlimited resources or unlimited time to investigate someone.

"No federal prosecutor has ever worked on a case like this," Buck said. "This law is fundamentally flawed. It undermines the integrity of our elections if we're going to investigate anything a president could have done wrong."

Buck said it's appropriate to bring in a special counsel when there's a conflict of interest, but he doesn't think that person should have unfettered power to prosecute.

"The president should be held to a higher standard, but he should not be held to a perfect standard," Buck said. "This investigation has gone on for a period of time, and has used resources to where the American people are starting to question whether it's still focused on its original purpose."

Still, Buck said he thinks the special counsel team is made up of professionals, and he wouldn't say the investigation has been used unwisely to date.

"But I don't know, at this point, what their focus is," Buck said.

Buck wouldn't commit to any legislation protecting the special counsel, nor would he commit to supporting or opposing a White House move to fire the special counsel and end the investigation. Buck pointed to White House statements saying Trump has no intention of firing the special counsel, and he said if the president has done nothing wrong, he would likely want to keep the special counsel.

When asked about reporting from the New York Times saying Trump tried to fire Mueller in June 2017, Buck said he didn't believe the reporting.

Numerous media outlets, including Fox News, reported Trump tried to fire Mueller.

"One of the reasons the media's credibility is hovering around (that of Congress), is because of stories like that," Buck said. "Until I hear the president say that … the story I've heard out of the White House is the president is not considering firing the special counsel."

— Tyler Silvy covers government and politics for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at tsilvy@greeleytribune.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.

Call with Russia

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., also spoke with The Tribune about President Donald Trump’s recent call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a call Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., criticized based on Trump congratulating Putin for winning what McCain called a “sham election.”

“Russia is an important player on the world stage,” Buck said. “I have some questions about the legitimacy of the election. I probably wouldn’t have made that call.”

Still, Buck said Trump has a lot to deal with when it comes to Russia, and he said the president likely wants to maintain an open line of communication.