Senate Makes Mueller Protection Announcement That Has GOP Whining

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At the end of November, the Senate blocked a bill aimed at protecting special counsels such as Robert Mueller. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that the bill wasn’t necessary since he believes there is no indication that Trump will move to fire Mueller.

Now, on Monday, it was reported that the Senate will reintroduce the bill later this week. According to The Associated Press:

‘Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are renewing their attempt to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s job, sending a signal to President Donald Trump as he keeps up his criticism of Mueller’s Russia investigation.’

The legislation is sponsored by incoming Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) along with three other members. The AP reported:

‘But there will be more pressure on senators this Congress as Democrats now have the House majority and have already introduced a similar bill.’

Senators Graham and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have both said they do not think Trump will actually move to have Mueller fired. However, Tillis said:

‘I still believe that is true. However, I also believe this bipartisan legislation is good government policy with enduring value across the current and future administrations.’

According to The Associated Press:

‘The legislation would allow any fired special counsel to seek a judicial review within 10 days of removal and puts into law existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel can only be fired for good cause. It would also order that staff remain and documents be preserved while the matter is pending.’

Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) are also sponsors of the bill. Coons said:

‘This is a time when Republicans and Democrats need to stand up and protect the rule of law in this country.’

Mr. Trump has regularly criticized Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation calling it a “witch hunt.” In December, he suggested he would do a counter report to challenge Mueller’s probe, and said that Mueller and his staff “only want lies.”

The Associated Press reported:

‘Graham, Tillis, Coons and Booker originally introduced bills in the summer of 2017 after Trump started to criticize the special counsel. They agreed on a compromise version in early 2018, and the panel approved it with the support of four Republicans on the panel. One of those Republicans, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, tried to force McConnell to pass the bill in December by saying he would vote against all judicial nominees at the end of the year. But McConnell refused to consider the legislation.’

House Democrats also introduced a protection bill on Thursday. Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, (D-NY) wrote in a statement with Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-TX), and Steve Cohen, (D-TN):

‘As the Special Counsel announced new indictments and guilty pleas from Trump’s closest allies and associates, it’s clear that the threat to the Mueller investigation will only grow stronger. Now is the time for Congress to finally act and pass this legislation to protect the integrity of the Special Counsel’s investigation and the rule of law.’

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