The Senate Judiciary Committee led by Sen. Chuck Grassley voted Thursday to approve legislation that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by the President.
According to the Hill, the panel approved the decision in a 14-7 vote that split Republican members down the middle. In all, four GOP senators supported the legislation, including Sens. Tillis, Graham, Grassley, and Flake.
The bill was opposed by Sens. Hatch, Lee, Cornyn, Crapo, Sasse, Kennedy, and Cruz.
“The vote marks the first time Congress has advanced legislation to formally protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump, who has railed against him in public and reportedly talked in private of dismissing him,” writes the Hill.
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.
“I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor, that’s my responsibility as the majority leader, and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate,” McConnell said earlier this month.
GRASSLEY GOES ROGUE: Says His Panel WILL VOTE on MUELLER ‘Protections’
Just one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed he had “no plans” to vote on official “protections” for Robert Mueller, Sen. Chuck Grassley announced his panel will go forward and vote on the proposed legislation.
According to USA Today, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday his committee will vote next week on a bill to protect the special counsel from being fired by President Trump.
“Some have raised the question of why the committee plans on proceeding with the markup despite the fact that the majority leader has indicated that he will not take this bill up on the floor,” said Grassley. “The views of the majority leader are obviously important to consider, but they do not govern what happens here on the Judiciary Committee.”
The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act was introduced last week by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Chris Coons, and prevents President Trump from removing Mueller from his Russia probe without Congressional approval.
“Where there are issues of national importance, such as the appointment of special counsels and the investigation of a sitting president, Congress must consider its constitutional role and act to make sure that it can avail itself of its traditional checks against the executive branch,” Grassley added.
SCHUMER SHOWDOWN: Chuck Demands ‘PROTECTION’ for Robert Mueller
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his fellow lawmakers to pass legislative “protections” for the special counsel’s office Tuesday, demanding GOP Senators introduce legislation that would make it impossible for Trump to fire Robert Mueller.
The Democrat leader called for Mueller’s protections within hours of a recent FBI raid at the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney; prompting the Commander-in-Chief to proclaim “Attorney-Client privilege is dead.”
“Let us take steps to protect the special counsel from political interference. We have several bipartisan bills designed to do just that. Majority Leader [Mitch] McConnell should bring them to the floor and let us debate them very soon,” said Sen. Schumer.
“Law enforcement officers believe there’s a good chance that the attorney for [the] president committed [a] crime or was involved in fraud where they couldn’t have gotten the okay from the magistrate to make these seizures,” added the Senate Minority Leader.
Watch Schumer’s comments above.
h/t The Hill