Sen. Johnson stands by call for Mueller to step down

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, is standing by a call made last week for special Counsel Bob Mueller to step down.

Johnson told the Racine Journal Times editorial board on Friday that Mueller should resign, saying the investigation is impeding the Senate and House investigation into Russian influence on the election.

Monday, following news that the Mueller probe had led to the indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates, a spokesman for Johnson said his position had not changed.

“Day to day developments don’t change the senator’s view that a special counsel was appointed far too early in this process, nor do they affect his overall concern that this investigation cannot tolerate even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” a spokesman wrote News 3 in an emailed statement. “Mr. Mueller is simply too close to James Comey and the FBI as questions continue to surface about their roles in matters the special counsel may be investigating.”

Manafort and Gates were indicted Monday on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other charges as part of Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopolos also pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the FBI about his interactions with a professor with ties to the Russian government.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, said in a tweet Monday that the investigation should continue.

“Serious indictments from independent Special Prosecutor Mueller,” Baldwin’s tweet read. “Investigation must continue unobstructed and reveal the truth.”