Senate

Senators to reintroduce Mueller protection bill this week

A bipartisan group of senators is preparing to revive legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. 

Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will reintroduce the legislation this week, spokespeople for Coons confirmed. 
 
The legislation protects Mueller, or any other special counsel, in the event he is fired by providing for an “expedited review” of the firing. If a court determines that it wasn’t for “good cause,” the special counsel would be reinstated.{mosads}
 
It would also codify Justice Department regulations that say only a senior department official could fire Mueller or another special counsel.
 
Republican backers of the legislation have said they don’t believe President Trump will fire Mueller, whom he has accused of leading a “witch hunt” against him, but that the legislation is good policy regardless of who is in the White House. 

Tillis said in a statement to The Associated Press, which first reported plans to reintroduce the bill this week, that he believes it “is true” that Trump won’t fire Mueller. 

“However, I also believe this bipartisan legislation is good government policy with enduring value across the current and future administrations,” Tillis said. 

House Democrats introduced similar legislation last week on the first day the party took back control of that chamber, arguing the bill was key to making sure Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election continues unimpeded. Both acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and William Barr, Trump’s pick to be attorney general, have been critical of the investigation.
 
Though Graham is taking over as Judiciary Committee chairman, the bill is unlikely to clear the Senate. GOP leadership is opposed to the bill and other Republican senators believe it is unconstitutional. 
 
Retired Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Booker and Coons tried three times over roughly a month late last year to get a vote on the bill, but they were blocked each time. 
 
Under the upper chamber’s rules, senators can go to the floor to request a vote or passage of any bill or nomination. But any senator can block their requests.
Tags Christopher Coons Cory Booker Donald Trump Jeff Flake Lindsey Graham Mueller protection bill Robert Mueller Russia Investigation Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act special counsel Robert Mueller investigation Thom Tillis
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