Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday that he will try to force a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos claims he was pressured to sign plea deal Tlaib asking colleagues to support impeachment investigation resolution Trump rips 'Mainstream Media': 'They truly are the Enemy of the People' MORE ousted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Should the media apologize to Donald Trump? After Mueller, Democrats need to avoid the Javert trap Mueller probe: A timeline from beginning to end 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 Jay RosensteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Democrats face dilemma after Mueller probe ends Senate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' 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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Senate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote 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