GOP senator wants committee vote on bill protecting Mueller

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNorth Carolina governor: We saw ‘significant damage’ in eastern part of state GOP senator on allegation against Kavanaugh: 'Why on Earth' wasn't it discussed earlier? North Carolina senator: Damage from Florence 'in the billions of dollars' MORE (R-N.C.) said on Tuesday that he wants the Judiciary Committee to vote on his bill limiting President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 ClintonTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC Clinton: Hard to ignore 'racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says' 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 CoonsSunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed Congress and Trump are out of step on intellectual property White House drops plan to cut foreign aid 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 GrahamCriticizing Trump’s ‘unsung success’ in Puerto Rico is valid — empty rhetoric is not Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Ken Starr says 'I trust Brett Kavanaugh' over allegations that are 'so wildly out of character' MORE (S.C.) and Democratic Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh 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.