Senate Committee Expected To Vote On Mueller Protection Bill

Bill to Protect Mueller Passes Senate Committee

Bill to Protect Mueller Passes Senate Committee

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider legislation providing that any special counsel appointed by the Justice Department may be fired only for good cause and allowing a special counsel who has been fired to challenge the decision in court.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, said the bill will now go to the full Senate, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he will not bring up the bill for a Senate vote. The vote was 14-7 with four Republicans in favor.

Senators, some of them Republicans, are preparing to formally signal to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Watergate prosecutor: Trump taking the fifth would be political suicide Comey: I'm "embarrassed and ashamed" by Republican party Comey, Anderson Cooper clash over whether memo release violated Federal Bureau of Investigation rules MORE that he shouldn't fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE. Even if it were passed by the Senate, the bill would then need to pass the House, where several key Republicans have been vocal critics of Mueller's probe, and Trump would need to sign it. The committee's top Democrat, California Sen.

"President Trump should not, and I believe will not, end the investigation", he said. If a court determines that the firing of a special counsel was unjustified, they would be reinstated. "And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point, I won't", said Trump.

If Republicans support the bill, some may be at risk of angering Trump and some of his supporters they represent.

"This is not necessary; there's no indication that Mueller is going to be fired", McConnell said in a Fox News interview, adding, "We'll not be having this on the floor of the Senate".

The four lawmakers who wrote the legislation - GOP Sens. But a revised Grassley amendment released Wednesday evening appeared to be a potential compromise, dropping a section that would have required the special counsel's office to report to Congress if the scope of the investigation changed during the investigation. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sen.

"Because special counsel investigations only occur where there is a conflict of interest within the executive branch, special counsel investigations are usually matters of great national concern", Grassley said. "Rather than waiting for a constitutional crisis, the full Senate should act now".

Democrats had initially opposed Grassley's amendment, saying it could undermine the investigation if the special counsel had to reveal too much to Congress. But White House legislative director Marc Short said last weekend that he couldn't rule it out in the long term because it's not known "how far off this investigation is going to veer". That legislation stalled for months, but was revived and the two bills were combined two weeks ago as Trump fumed about a raid of his personal lawyer's office, in an investigation overseen by federal prosecutors in NY. For now, the move is largely symbolic, given McConnell's opposition, but it shows the complexity of Republican support for Trump when it comes to the president's attacks on Mueller.

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