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US Senate panel advances legislation to protect Robert Mueller from firing

US Senate panel advances legislation to protect Robert Mueller from firing

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to protect the special counsel from firing.

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.

John Cornyn (R-Texas), who opposed the measure, there are no plans to give the bill a vote on the Senate floor or in the House, and Trump would never sign it.

Republicans have split amid U.S. President Donald Trump's repeatedly criticism of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Most of Thursday's hearing centered on a debate about the constitutionality of Congress' curbing certain executive powers. But supporters of the legislation say that 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.

"I think we're right to convey a strong message to the president not fire Robert Mueller", Hatch said Thursday. But the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee added to the pressure on McConnell by voting for the measure and saying McConnell should change his mind. The president tweeted his outrage after the raid, causing lawmakers from both parties to warn against the firing of the special counsel. "I may change my mind at some point, because what's going on is a disgrace". He told reporters earlier in April: "I haven't seen a clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don't think that's going to happen, and that remains my view".

Even senators who voted against the legislation warned Mr. Trump against trying to dismiss Mr. Mueller.

But Tillis said the bill was necessary to protect not just Mueller but future special counsels, and he said Congress should leave constitutional questions for the Supreme Court to decide.

"This is about the independence of the Department of Justice and our respect for the rule of law", said Democratic Senator Chris Coons, one of the bill's four co-sponsors. The committee's vote came the same morning that Trump, in an interview on Fox and Friends, warned that he would soon get "involved" in the work of his Justice Department-a cryptic statement that could signal Trump will try to interfere with the special counsel.

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