Senate bill would require court's approval for Trump firing Mueller
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GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBrunson release spotlights the rot in Turkish politics and judiciary Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance Democrats must end mob rule MORE (S.C.) and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) are moving to limit the Trump administration's ability to fire Robert Mueller as the latter investigates any potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The legislation would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel. Any appeal of that decision would go to the Supreme Court, according to the bill.

"Our bill allows judicial review of any decision to terminate a special counsel to make sure it’s done for the reasons cited in the regulation rather than political motivation. I think this will serve the country well," Graham said in a statement.

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Booker added that special counsels should never be subjected to "interference or intimidation because of where an investigation takes them."

The measure, which is also backed by Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats won’t let Kavanaugh debate die Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight Hillary Clinton bursts out laughing about Kavanaugh's 'revenge on behalf of the Clintons' remark MORE (R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), is the second bill to be introduced on Thursday aimed at blocking President Trump's ability to fire Mueller and limiting the Justice Department's ability to follow such orders.

Under the Graham-Booker bill, the Justice Department would have to start the process of trying to fire a special counsel by filing "an action" with the court and notifying both the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

The Justice Department could only remove a special counsel "after the court has issued an order finding misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or other good cause."

Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight GOP fractured over filling Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 MORE (R-N.C.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist The Senate needs to cool it MORE (D-Del.) also introduced legislation earlier Thursday that would block Trump from being able to fire Mueller or any other special counsel appointed since mid-May. The Justice Department appointed Mueller to lead the investigation into Russian election interference that month.

The bills come as Trump has repeatedly lashed out against Mueller's investigation, calling it a "witch hunt." Allies of the administration have also accused the former FBI director, who is widely respected in Washington, of being too biased to lead the probe.