The GOP majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said that he just does not believe that Donald Trump will fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Not everyone agrees with him, including some surprising Republicans. They have been working to pass a law to protect Mueller while he investigates the Russian attack on U.S. elections.
McConnell has not provided any evidence indicating that the president would not can Mueller, and Trump has had a long history of spontaneous acts. Why would the senator take such a momentous risk?
Fortunately, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has been standing firmly against 45. The Iowa senator said that he will introduce a bill to protect Mueller, no matter what McConnell says, according to Fox News:
‘I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor. That is my responsibility as the majority leader. And we’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate.’
Yet, any bill dies when the head Republican refuses to bring it to the floor. McConnell’s statement begs the question, why is the majority leader so committed to killing this legislation?
Grassley said his committee will bring the issue up at the April 26 business meeting and vote on the measure.
Donald Trump has been threatening to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for months. Then, the deputy attorney general approved an FBI raid on the commander-in-chief’s personal attorney’s office and temporary residence and collected 11 electronic devices. Those within the White House said they had never seem the president so angry.
Two bipartisan senators introduced a like bill to the one in the Judiciary Committee, and then another pair did likewise. This legislation would give Mueller 10 days to appeal his dismissal, should that occur.
He would make that appeal to a panel of three federal judges. During the 10-day timeline, the administration could not destroy any records or shift Mueller’s team around.
Last summer, Trump publicly berated the attorney general he put in place himself, Jeff Sessions, and threatened to fire him. Apparently, the man in the Oval Office knows that he can install anyone already approved by the Senate as temporary AG, and have that person fire Mueller, but at a huge risk.
The president cannot fire the special counselor directly, but there are several ways around the issue. One is for Senator Mitch McConnell to kill any legislation protecting Mueller. The majority leader told Fox:
‘There’s no indication that Mueller’s going to be fired … and just as a practical matter, even if we passed it, why would he sign it This is a piece of legislation that’s not necessary, in my judgment.’
Grassley raised constitutional concerns. He promised his committee bill time and even proposed an amendment himself. The Judiciary Chair said he would just keep moving forward toward a vote, according to The Chicago Tribune:
‘They got together so I feel an obligation to keep my word and move forward. But I can’t worry about what’s going on on the floor. I’ve just got to do what I can do.’
Featured Image via Fox News Twitter Page Screen Grab.