Senate

Dem senator demands law to protect Mueller from Trump firing

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) on Monday made the case for Congress to pass legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller.

"We see now a president who has no clear sense of his boundaries and of the rule of law," Coons told CNN's "New Day."

"On occasion, he consults his lawyers and follows their advice and the outcome's been positive. On occasion, he doesn't consult his lawyers and he's done and said things that have really threatened the rule of law," Coons said.

Coons's argument comes after The New York Times reported that Trump called for Mueller's firing last year, but backtracked after the White House counsel threatened to quit.

Coons said that while lawmakers on both sides in Congress believe it would be a bad move for Trump to fire Mueller, they are unsure how to address such a possibility.

"This is a small legislative matter that would take current regulations and make them law that say if the special counsel were abruptly removed without cause, the counsel could find his way to be reinstated through a three-judge panel," Coons told Chris Cuomo.

Coons last year proposed bipartisan legislation with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.) aimed at protecting Mueller.

"And so if we could put this speed bump in place, that would just prevent the president from taking a rash and an unwarranted act, I think it would strengthen our constitutional order and protect our country from an unnecessary moment should the president go off the rails on this issue again," Coons said Monday.

Republican lawmakers grappled with the potential need to protect Mueller over the weekend, as Democrats increased calls for legislation to shield the special counsel following the Times's report.

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