Senate panel approves bill to protect special counsel

27 April, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Senate panel approves bill to protect special counsel

After almost a year of calls for someone to codify protections for Mueller, and after reports that Trump has wanted to fire Mueller, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of a bipartisan bill to protect the special counsel.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said he won't bring the bill to the full Senate for a vote, even if it's approved by the committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill with a bipartisan 14-7 vote, which saw all Democrats in favor of the measure along with Sens.

Trump has reportedly mused about firing Mueller and has tweeted that he is "conflicted" in his role as special counsel.

It would give a special counsel an "expedited review" of their firing. It also would put into law existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel can be fired only for good cause.

The legislation has divided Republicans, pitting a handful of senators who believe in protecting Mueller against others who have leveled a variety of objections to the bill - including questions about its constitutionality and whether it is necessary. Republicans and Democrats on the panel have said Trump shouldn't try to remove Mueller. But supporters of the legislation say its mere consideration in committee will send an important message to Trump that firing Mueller or his overseers at the Justice Department would spark a fierce backlash on Capitol Hill.




Mueller is heading the federal investigation into Russia's electoral interference and possible collusion with the Trump presidential campaign.

The committee voted against another amendment, proposed by Sen. And if it did win lawmakers' approval, President Donald Trump would likely veto the bill.

The final version of Grassley's amendment, which was adopted by the committee on Thursday, requires the Justice Department to report to Congress when the special counsel investigation ends to detail the findings of the investigation, any changes to the special counsel's jurisdiction during the probe and an explanation of the decisions to prosecute or not prosecute.

Trump appeared to suggest Thursday he has no intention of trying to fire Mueller, for now.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017.

The seven Republicans are: Sens. A panel of judges could then block Mueller's removal if it is not for good cause. But White House legislative director Marc Short said last weekend that he couldn't rule it out in the long term because it's not known "how far off this investigation is going to veer".

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