GOP senator wants committee vote on bill protecting Mueller

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Administration to brief Senate panel on family reunifications 'Paws for Celebration' event brings rescue animals to the Capitol MORE (R-N.C.) said on Tuesday that he wants the Judiciary Committee to vote on his bill limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE's ability to fire Bob Mueller, but downplayed the idea that his push is a reaction to Trump's latest attack on the special counsel.

"I think it's a good bill that has enduring value beyond this presidency," Tillis told reporters.

"I do think it's a bill that's worthy of a markup in Judiciary and sending it to the floor."

He added he would be asking for the committee vote even if Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDHS secretary: No sign Russia targeting midterm elections at 2016 level Twitter suspends Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks accounts after indictments Elon Musk donated nearly K to Republican PAC, filings show MORE were in the White House and "we were having the same discussion with a different sort of a flare to it."

Tillis and Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin Sunday shows preview: Washington braces for Trump's Supreme Court pick America stands to lose as China places bets on developing world MORE (D-Del.) introduced legislation last year that would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing in court.

A separate bill, from GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (S.C.) and Democratic Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (N.J.), would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel.

Tillis noted that he's had conversations with Graham about merging their legislation. GOP leadership has repeatedly dismissed the need for Congress to preemptively take action.

Tillis's comments come after Trump lashed out following an FBI raid on the offices and hotel room of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. A referral from Mueller's team reportedly prompted the raid.

"Attorney–client privilege is dead!" Trump said in a tweet, adding: "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!"

The president's comments sparked the latest round of warnings from Capitol Hill that firing Mueller would be a mistake.

Tillis said on Tuesday that the president appeared "frustrated" but signaled Trump had made similar comments in the past.

"I feel like the reaction we're seeing is similar to the last time he expressed frustration back in August," the North Carolina Republican said.