GOP senator wants committee vote on bill protecting Mueller

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy Warning signs flash for Tillis in North Carolina MORE (R-N.C.) said on Tuesday that he wants the Judiciary Committee to vote on his bill limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE's ability to fire Bob Mueller, but downplayed the idea that his push is a reaction to Trump's latest attack on the special counsel.

"I think it's a good bill that has enduring value beyond this presidency," Tillis told reporters.

"I do think it's a bill that's worthy of a markup in Judiciary and sending it to the floor."

He added he would be asking for the committee vote even if Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy MORE were in the White House and "we were having the same discussion with a different sort of a flare to it."

Tillis and Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate committee approves 0 million for state election security efforts Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Bill to return B in unredeemed bonds advances MORE (D-Del.) introduced legislation last year that would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing in court.

A separate bill, from GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPost peace talks, Afghan elections are the best way forward Trump walks tightrope on gun control Pompeo doubles down on blaming Iran for oil attacks: 'This was a state-on-state act of war' MORE (S.C.) and Democratic Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSeven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding MORE (N.J.), would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel.

Tillis noted that he's had conversations with Graham about merging their legislation. GOP leadership has repeatedly dismissed the need for Congress to preemptively take action.

Tillis's comments come after Trump lashed out following an FBI raid on the offices and hotel room of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. A referral from Mueller's team reportedly prompted the raid.

"Attorney–client privilege is dead!" Trump said in a tweet, adding: "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!"

The president's comments sparked the latest round of warnings from Capitol Hill that firing Mueller would be a mistake.

Tillis said on Tuesday that the president appeared "frustrated" but signaled Trump had made similar comments in the past.

"I feel like the reaction we're seeing is similar to the last time he expressed frustration back in August," the North Carolina Republican said.