Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday that he will try to force a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE ousted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse gears up for Mueller testimony Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank 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 RosensteinFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates 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: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP rattled by Trump rally Third Kentucky Democrat announces challenge to McConnell 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