GOP senator: Republicans opposing bill protecting Mueller would back it if Clinton were president

Republican Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight MORE (N.C.) said in a recent interview that lawmakers slamming his legislation to protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE would want the same bill if Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE were president.

“The same people who would criticize me for filing this bill would be absolutely angry if I wasn’t pounding the table for this bill if we were dealing with Hillary Clinton,” Tillis told Politico. “So spare me your righteous indignation.”

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Tillis, along with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell Overnight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Dem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report MORE (R-S.C.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOcasio-Cortez returns to 'The Late Show' on Monday We need action on personal cybersecurity Gillibrand and Booker play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Worker' game amid 2020 speculation MORE (D-N.J.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Sunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown MORE (D-Del.), last week introduced legislation that would restrict President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE’s ability to fire the special counsel.

The bill would allow Mueller to have an “expedited judicial review” within 10 days of his possible dismissal to probe whether or not the firing was for a “good cause.”

Some Republican lawmakers have recently shown an increased enthusiasm for passing legislation to protect Mueller. The White House said last week Trump believes he has the power to fire the special counsel.

Tillis, in his interview, argued that the legislation could also help Republicans in the future should there be “a President Warren or a President Sanders or a President Booker,” referring to Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Dem voters split on importance of women atop the ticket in 2020 Elizabeth Warren heading to Puerto Rico next week MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersKamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Sen. Casey says he won't run for president in 2020 Women's March plans 'Medicare for All' day of lobbying in DC MORE (I-Vt.) and Booker. All three lawmakers have been floated as potential Democratic candidates for 2020.

“The only way you get these things done [is] when you have somebody who is willing to take the heat when you’re in the majority,” Tillis told Politico.