Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Flake asks Daily Show where he can get a blanket emblazoned with his 'meaningless tweets' McCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate MORE (R-Ariz.) said Friday that he believes legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE could pass the Senate, if Republican leadership would agree to bring it up for a vote.

"I do believe the votes are there on the floor if we can just get a vote, and that's what I'm calling, let's just have a vote," Flake told CNN, asked about a measure that would protect Mueller from being fired without good cause. 
 
The legislation — crafted by Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe Booker: 'Biggest evil' in country is the 'lack of engagement' MORE (D-N.J.), Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown Dem senator: Trump 'seems more rattled than usual' Dem: 'Disheartening' that Republicans who 'stepped up' to defend Mueller are leaving MORE (D-Del.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform MORE (R-N.C.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe GOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote MORE (R-S.C.) — has languished for months after it passed out the Judiciary Committee. Republican leadership argues it isn't necessary because President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE, they believe, will not try to interfere with or fire Mueller. 
 
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"I don't know how we can be sanguine about what's going on over at the Department of Justice in terms of the Mueller probe. It's important to protect it," Flake added on Friday. 
 
Flake, joined by Coons and Booker, have gone to the Senate floor twice this month to try to get a vote and have been blocked both times. Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP senator floats options to prevent shutdown Congress strikes deal on bill for sexual harassment cases involving lawmakers The Hill's Morning Report — Takeaways from the battle royal in the Oval Office MORE (R-Texas) said this week that the Senate GOP is measuring support for the legislation, but noted there are still objections to the bill within the caucus. 
 
Flake is pledging to oppose all of Trump's judicial nominees until he gets a vote on the bill, rankling his colleagues who have made confirming the president's picks their top priority. 
 
Flake and Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump signs order aimed at revitalizing economically distressed communities Juan Williams: Nowhere to go for black Republicans Tim Scott: Stop giving court picks with 'questionable track records on race' a Senate vote MORE (R-S.C.) are joining all 49 Democrats to oppose Thomas Farr's district judge nomination, denying him the 50 votes needed to let Vice President Pence break a tie. 
 
Flake's opposition is more problematic for Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, where they have a 11-10 majority. Unless Republicans can flip a Democrat on the committee, Flake's opposition leaves them unable to advance the president's nominees out of the panel by the end of the year.
 
 
"We need to protect the special counsel, it's important. Confirming judges is important," Flake, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said. "I want to confirm more judges ... but this has to be priority now. And you have to take a stand. I have leverage because we have a narrow majority on the Judiciary Committee, so I'm using it."