Senators to introduce new bipartisan bill to protect Mueller
A group of bipartisan senators is introducing new legislation to limit President Trump’s ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (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.
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.