Senators to introduce new bipartisan bill to protect Mueller

A group of bipartisan senators is introducing new legislation to limit President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE's ability to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE.

Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.). Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod MORE (R-S.C.), Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images Democrats press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts MORE (D-Del.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (R-N.C.) will introduce the legislation, the  Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, on Wednesday. 

The legislation would let Mueller, or any other special counsel, receive an "expedited judicial review" within 10 days of being fired to determine if it was for a "good cause." If it was determined it wasn't, he would be reinstated. 

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It would also codify regulations that only a senior Justice Department official can fire a special counsel and that they must provide the reason in writing.

"We need to ensure not only that special counsel Mueller can complete his work without interference, but that special counsels in future investigations can, too," Coons said.

Tillis added that the "compromise bipartisan bill helps ensure that special counsels — present or future — have the independence they need to conduct fair and impartial investigations."

The new legislation comes 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!!!"

He also refused to rule out the possibility of firing Mueller, telling reporters, "We'll see what happens." 

But previous legislation to protect Mueller has largely stalled on Capitol Hill. 

Tillis and Coons introduced legislation last year that would let Mueller or any special counsel challenge their firing in court.

A separate bill, from Graham and Booker, would require a judge to approve a Justice Department request to fire Mueller or any other special counsel.