IN Focus: Mueller probe, Oval Office showdown, possible shutdown making news in DC

WASHINGTON – Days ahead of a potential government shutdown and awaiting the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a group of 44 former U.S. Senators wrote in a rare Washington Post op-ed the country is entering a “dangerous period.”

The letter, signed by Democrats and Republicans including former Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar from Indiana, called on the current U.S. Senate to ensure democracy remains intact.

“We are on the eve of the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the House’s commencement of investigations of the president and his administration,” the op-ed said. “The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability.”

“They made it public for a reason,” Laura Wilson said, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis. “I think they’re interested in make sure not just the senators know that they want the Senate to play a large role, but also that the public knows and the public holds their senators accountable.”

Current Republicans in the U.S. Senate are expressing optimism, though, that policy and legislation will still be accomplished during the new Congress.

“I think a lot of credit does indeed go to Congress working with this president, whether it’s tax reform, regulatory reform,” Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) said in an interview this past weekend on IN  Focus. “Bottom line – I encourage the administration and all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with Mueller in this investigation, and I hope it does come to a close sometime soon for the American people.”

The op-ed from the group of former senators ended by calling on the current body to ensure partisanship or self-interest never replaces the interest of the country.

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