“I don’t think that was a smart move,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is also retiring, said of Flake’s blockade. “It’s starting to irritate people… He’s a good guy. But I think he’s carrying it a little bit far.”

The former Judiciary chairman said that giving in to Flake would set a “bad precedent” for the chamber and added that President Donald Trump wouldn’t fire Mueller despite his repeated attacks on the Russia probe. “That would be the stupidest thing the president could do.”

“It is not productive,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has also been known to cause major headaches for McConnell. “One of the greatest substantive victories that we have delivered for the American people the last two years is nominating and confirming strong constitutionalist judges. For a Republican senator to be blocking that is frustrating the promises we made to the voters.”