Graham backs bill to protect Mueller

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report Graham expects 'thorough' briefing on Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' MORE (R-Ky.) to hold a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

“I would certainly vote for it,” Graham told reporters, according to Reuters. “I don’t see any movement to get rid of Mueller. But it probably would be good to have this legislation in place just for the future.” 

Graham co-sponsored the legislation to protect the Mueller investigation in April 2018. It would codify Department of Justice regulations that say only a senior official can fire Mueller or another special counsel, and would give a special counsel the ability to challenge their firing in court.

The South Carolina Republican worked with Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-N.C.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' MORE (D-Del.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Booker endorses New Jersey marijuana legalization bill MORE (D-N.J.) on the legislation and previously voted for it in committee.

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The special counsel is examining ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE's campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

Democrats and some Republicans have raised concerns that the ouster of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE last week threatens the investigation.

Trump replaced Sessions with Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, who has criticized the probe in the past.

Democratic leaders, including Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.), have called for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation.

"Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation," she tweeted. "Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation."

McConnell said last Friday that legislation protecting Mueller was not needed because he doesn't believe President Trump will fire the special counsel.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTreasury expands penalty relief to more taxpayers Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters Tuesday that he supported the bill to protect Mueller but would not lobby McConnell on allowing the legislation to move forward, Reuters reported. 

– Jordain Carney contributed to this report, which was updated Nov. 14 at 12:15 p.m.