Senate panel pushes bill protecting Mueller to next week

Senate panel pushes bill protecting Mueller to next week
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The Senate Judiciary Committee is punting a bill limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's ability to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE into next week, instead of considering it on Thursday. 

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-Calif.) said she and Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting MORE (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, had "agreed to not take action this week but instead place the bill on the committee’s markup calendar next week."

"I’m worried about an amendment we haven’t been able to review that could undermine the investigation," she said. 

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Asked what amendment Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee, was referring to, her spokesman pointed toward a recent New York Times article. 
 
GOP committee aides told the Times that Grassley wants to offer an amendment that would require the Justice Department to give a report to Congress when there is a change in the scope of a special counsel investigation or if the special counsel is fired.
 
Pushing the legislation into next week is a delay from Grassley's request to put it under the committee's agenda for a business meeting on Thursday.

Grassley aides noted earlier Wednesday that the GOP senator needed Feinstein to sign off on changing Thursday's agenda because it was within 72 hours of the meeting.

Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley, confirmed on Wednesday evening that Grassley would place the bill on the agenda for the first time next week instead of Thursday. 

"Because of Sen. Feinstein’s decision, the Committee will now vote on the special counsel bill on April 26 instead of April 19," he said.

The timeline implies that the bill will be added to a committee markup on Thursday, April 19, though it is not yet listed on the committee's website. 

And under committee rules, any one member can delay the legislation once it's been placed on the agenda for a week. 

Several members on the committee are opposed to or have concerns about the legislation, meaning it will likely be delayed an additional week, setting up a vote for April 26. 

The legislation, from Sens. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsAnti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Overnight Defense: More Trump drama over Russia | Appeals court rules against Trump on transgender ban | Boeing wins Air Force One contract | Military parade to reportedly cost M MORE (D-Del.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerAnti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House House backs resolution expressing support for ICE Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women MORE (D-N.J.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisKey GOP senator says ‘no question’ Russia is meddling in U.S. affairs GOP Senator: 'Very inappropriate' for Trump to discuss allowing Russia to question US citizens Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House MORE (R-N.C.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Polling analyst: Changes to legal immigration ‘the real sticking point among Democrats’ Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE (R-S.C.), would let Mueller, or any other special counsel, receive an "expedited judicial review" within 10 days of being fired to determine if it was for a "good cause." 
 
If it wasn't, the special counsel would be reinstated. The measure would also codify existing regulations that only a senior Justice Department official can fire a special counsel and that they must provide the reason in writing.
 
Updated at 7:04 p.m.