(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee in the next Congress. On Sunday, he said protecting the Mueller investigation is his top "oversight" priority; and gun control is one of his top legislative priorities:
"Well, we will certainly pursue sensible gun control legislation as one of our priorities," Nadler told ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.
He said he recently campaigned with Democrat Representative-Elect Lucy McBath, who won her Georgia seat by campaigning for gun control.
"She was a mother whose son was murdered with a gun six years ago, in 2012, over a dispute over loud music," Nadler continued:
And she got involved in gun control - in the gun control cause. She was involved especially after the Parkland shootings. And the fact that Congress has done nothing about this to protect the American people motivated her to run and she will be a very invaluable member of Congress for many reasons, but among others, for the personal experience she brings to bear upon this.
We're having - we're getting to the point now where we're having mass shootings every week. It's not even - it's hardly news. You know, we have - we're told that - by the NRA and others that the problem is mental health or whatever. But you look at Western Europe, you look at Japan and they have 50 gun deaths, 120 gun deaths, 150 gun deaths, we have 33,000 a year.
It's a slander on the American people to say that our people are 10,000 times as mentally ill as people in Western Europe or Japan. The problem is the unfettered use of assault - of military-style weapons, the lack of appropriate background checks, and we will do - we will have to deal with this.
"What is your top oversight priority?" Stephanopoulos asked Nadler.
"Right now our top priority is to protect the Mueller investigation, to protect the integrity of that investigation from the White House attempt to stifle it and to - to interfere with it," Nadler replied.
Nadler said Trump's recent appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General is not legal because the Senate has not given its advice and consent.
"But I'll go further -- his appointment is simply part of an attack on the investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel. It's part of a pattern of interference by the president and part of a pattern of obstruction of that - attempt of obstruction of that investigation.
And that investigation is very important to assure the rule of law and to assure that we know what happened when the Russians attempted to subvert our election with the alleged complicity of people in the Trump campaign.
It's very important that the integrity of our elections be assured. And so we have to protect that investigation for the reasons I just stated and to show that not - not the president, not anybody is above the law.