In a bipartisan vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller amid growing concerns he is going rogue in a probe President Donald Trump insists is little more than a “witch hunt.”
Four Republicans joined with 10 Democrat senators to ensure the proposal’s success, with noted anti-Trump Sen. Jeff Flake, from Arizona, voting with GOP Sens. Lindsay Graham (S.C.), Tom Tillis (N.C.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), The Hill reported.
The measure passed in a 14-7 vote, with the dissensions coming from GOP senators, and comes over repeated worries in the media that Trump will fire Mueller, although the president has only said, “We’ll see what happens.”
The seven Republicans who voted against the bill are: Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and John Kennedy (La.).
The bill is sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Graham and Tillis, and would codify Department of Justice regulations that say only a senior DOJ official can fire Mueller or another special counsel, according to The Hill.
In effect, if a court determines the special counsel wasn’t fired for “good cause,” they would be reinstated. Given that the liberal courts all but govern America today, why not turn it over to them.
More on what the bill includes from The Hill:
It would give a special counsel an “expedited review” of their firing. If a court determines that it wasn’t for “good cause,” the special counsel would be reinstated.
The committee also added new reporting requirements into the bill, including notification when a special counsel is appointed or removed and requiring a report be given to Congress after an investigation wraps up; that report would detail the investigation’s findings and prosecution decisions.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called the reporting requirements “reckless,” stating that it would require a special counsel to hand over the names of people who aren’t being prosecuted.
…and we know that information is safe in the hands of Congress, where leaks never occur. Not.
The bill still must pass the full Senate, which is controlled by the Republican Party.
Not that social media users expect that to happen anytime soon, although you can never be sure with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Senate Judiciary Cmte votes to ADVANCE bill to protect the Special Counsel, 14-7.
Bill now goes to full Senate where Majority Leader McConnell has said he has no intention to bring it up.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) April 26, 2018
— Illegitimate President Biden (@kcluva) April 26, 2018
— Some guy (@DCrising21) April 26, 2018
Wow…never thought they'd do it. Still a bit skeptical this gets to the floor, though. https://t.co/YEnKuderx4
— andrew polk (@andrewpolk81) April 26, 2018
And those FOUR Republicans who have put up a bill to protect #Mueller is the biggest load of crock ever! They have no business usurping @POTUS' powers. Besides, Trump has said numerous times he will not fire Mueller, so these RINOs are grandstanding! @GOP @SenMajLdr https://t.co/0Q4Kv0KEhK
— Viola Tweets (@hummingbird5225) April 26, 2018
Not that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wasn’t game for trying to push his Republican colleague:
Sen. Schumer calls on Sen. Majority Leader McConnell to put special counsel protection bill on Senate floor for vote immediately:
“Rather than waiting for a constitutional crisis, the full Senate should act now.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 26, 2018
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