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Committee Passes Bill Protecting Mueller But McConnell Is Vowing To Kill It

Committee Passes Bill Protecting Mueller But McConnell Is Vowing To Kill It

Even so, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller from being fired.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has stated unequivocally that he will not bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

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.

The measure would give any special counsel a 10-day window to seek expedited judicial review of a firing.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced earlier this month as Trump criticized Mueller's ongoing, and so far unsuccessful, "Russiagate" investigation and reportedly weighed firing the special counsel. That included negotiating with Grassley, who floated an amendment that included increased reporting to Congress by the special counsel.

Grassley said at Thursday's committee meeting that, even though he had constitutional concerns about the bill, it still should be considered by the full Senate.

In the past, Trump has lumped the special counsel investigation and the Cohen investigation together and repeatedly complained of a "witch hunt" out to get him. "Rather than waiting for a constitutional crisis, the full Senate should act now", said Schumer.

In effect, if a court determines the special counsel wasn't fired for "good cause", they would be reinstated. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., passed the GOP-controlled panel, 14-7. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said following the vote.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee's senior Democrat, said she hopes McConnell will drop his opposition to the bill.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said prosecution was a "core executive function" that the legislation would infringe upon.

Booker said he wanted to see the bill but was "inclined" to support such legislation.

Sessions has refused to clarify whether and how his recusal applies to an investigation of Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, which is being conducted not by the special counsel's office, but by prosecutors and investigations in the Southern District of NY.

The president reportedly chose to fire Mueller in January but backed down from the move when the White House counsel threatened to step down if he went through with it.

Supporters of the bill hailed it as a victory for the rule of law and the independence of the special counsel. It also would protect any and all documents relevant to the special counsel's investigation during that legal challenge.

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