‘Plan B’ being prepped by lawmakers to protect Mueller’s work: report

‘Plan B’ being prepped by lawmakers to protect Mueller’s work: report
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Lawmakers are eyeing a plan to preserve evidence and reports compiled by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump McConnell says he'll be in 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment trial strategy MORE's (R-Ky.) refusal to bring legislation protecting Mueller's job to the Senate floor.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) confirmed to NBC News that some lawmakers were discussing a "Plan B" that would focus on preserving evidence gathered by Mueller in the event that he or Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE is fired.

Talks on such a plan "involve assuring the evidence is preserved and reports are done if the special counsel is fired or other political interference is undertaken by the president," Blumenthal told NBC News. 

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Blumenthal said that some Republican senators are also involved in the discussions.

The push for a backup plan to protect Mueller's work comes amid concerns by some lawmakers that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE could dismiss Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, or the special counsel himself.

If Rosenstein were fired and replaced with someone Trump considers to be more loyal, that person could choose to limit Mueller's resources, for instance, or withhold the special counsel's final report altogether.

Some lawmakers have proposed legislation aimed at making it harder for Trump to fire Mueller. House Republicans have shot down the possibility of considering such a measure.

Some conservatives have argued that such a measure is unconstitutional because it interferes with Trump's presidential authority to make personnel changes within the executive branch.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on a bipartisan basis last month to approve a bill that would allow Mueller to appeal a possible firing before a panel of judges. But McConnell has refused to bring the legislation to a vote in the full Senate.

Trump has bristled both publicly and privately at Mueller's investigation, insisting that there was no coordination between his campaign and Russia, and calling the probe a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." The president's rhetoric on the investigation has prompted concerns by many lawmakers that Trump could seek to end it altogether by dismissing those responsible for leading it.