Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFive reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' MORE (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday that he will try to force a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE after President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE ousted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGarland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE Wednesday.
 
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"When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel," Flake said in a tweet. 
Under Senate rules, Flake can go to the floor and ask for consent to set up a vote or even pass a piece of legislation. But any one senator can block his request, and given the opposition within the GOP caucus to the special counsel bill, Flake's move will likely be unsuccessful. 
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation last year that would protect Mueller, or any other special counsel, in the event he is fired, but the bill has stalled amid opposition from GOP leadership. 
 
The bill would codify Justice Department regulations that say only a senior DOJ official can fire Mueller or another special counsel.
 
It would give a special counsel an "expedited review" of their firing. If a court determines that it wasn't for "good cause," the special counsel would be reinstated.
 
Flake's decision to try to get a vote next week comes after Trump removed Sessions as attorney general this week and named Matthew Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, as his temporary replacement.
 
The Justice Department confirmed that Whitaker would take over oversight of Mueller's investigation into the 2016 election, which Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE had overseen after Sessions recused himself last year due to his work on the Trump campaign.
 
Whitaker has previously been critical of Mueller's investigation and his ascendence to atop the Justice Department on Wednesday sparked immediate calls from Democrats for him to recuse himself and for Congress to pass legislation protecting Mueller.
 
But Democrats, who are in the minority, are not able to muscle through legislation protecting Mueller on their own. And Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.), have repeatedly denied the need for the bill because they have said they do not believe Trump will fire Mueller.
 
"I haven't seen a clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don't think that's going to happen, and that remains my view," McConnell told reporters in April