Senate committee backs bill to protect special counsel Mueller in bipartisan vote

27 April, 2018, 00:54 | Author: Jason Torres
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A bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's job has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 14-7.

By a vote of 14-7, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to make it more hard for Donald Trump to fire the special counsel. Four Republicans, however, voted in favor: Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a prominent Trump detractor who will not run for re-election this year, Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "It's about the rule of law", Graham said Thursday.

In effect, if a court determines the special counsel wasn't fired for "good cause", they would be reinstated. A previous version of that amendment almost derailed committee passage of the bill, but Grassley was able to come to a compromise with Democrats to win their support.

This bill combines two older pieces of bipartisan legislation proposed by the sponsors this past August.

"I know that sometimes it's hard to compromise, but you did that, and this is better because of that", she told Grassley. "Everybody went to work and worked it out".

"It's important that we not overstep our constitutional authority", Hatch said.

Senator Grassley countered that he thinks the full Senate should weigh in on the bill.

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Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed Durbin's comments, saying in a statement that following President Donald Trump's comments on Thursday regarding the special counsel's investigation, "it's become even more of an imperative that Leader McConnell put this bill on the Senate floor for a vote immediately".

Trump once again railed on the Justice Department and the FBI in a "Fox and Friends" interview on Thursday morning, and hinted he might get involved in the Justice Department and the special counsel investigation down the road.

"I am very disappointed in my Justice Department". A panel of judges could then block Mueller's removal if it is not for good cause.

The committee voted against another amendment, proposed by Sen.

The proposal now rests in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will decide if and when the legislation receives a full vote on the Senate floor.

Cornyn and several other key Republicans have expressed concerns with the constitutionality of the bill and stated that they do not believe the legislation is necessary, as they don't think Trump will try to fire Mueller.

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