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Grassley-chaired Senate Judiciary Committee approves bill protecting Mueller

29 April 2018

Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer quickly grasped that straw to demand a vote on the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who controls what bills come to the Senate floor, said this bill won't be scheduled.

While neither the special counsel's office nor Jay Sekulow, another one of President Trump's attorneys, would comment about this initial meeting - which included members of Giuliani and Mueller's team - a source told the Post it was to 'feel each other out'.

The four lawmakers who wrote the legislation - Republican senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of SC and Democrats Chris Coons of DE and Cory Booker of New Jersey - hoped committee approval would give them more time to find enough support in the full Senate.

However, he threw his support behind it, after an amendment he offered was added, requiring the special counsel to submit a report on the investigation to Congress once it has concluded.

"Our constitutional system, premised as it is on the separation of powers, can not function unless Congress exercises robust oversight over the executive branch", he said.

Republicans opposing the bipartisan bill are expected to vote for an alternative resolution that would express a nonbinding "sense of the Senate" that Mueller should be left alone to do his job. They have warned that Trump could spark a constitutional crisis if he fires either man.

Coons, Sen. Richard J. Durbin of IL and other Democrats said they were convinced that the bill would be constitutional. But this is exactly what he has done by hearing the bill and giving air to the non-issue of Trump firing Mueller because all of the usual players, including Democratic presidential hopefuls and Senate Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns, have now been given a free news hook to inveigh against Trump.

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Trump has repeatedly referred to the investigation as a "witch hunt" and insists that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.

Insofar as the passage of the bill is concerned, Tillis said it will be up to the committee itself to rally support. The bill would ensure that the special counsel's staff and investigative materials would be preserved in the interim.

It would also require the attorney general to provide written notice specifying the reason for removal and would allow the special counsel to challenge his or her removal within 10 days.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who the president has criticized for recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, said on April 26 that he's sympathetic to Trump's complaints. "We are stewards of the legislative branch". "So that may be a place for us to land". "This bill certainly does that". They voted against the legislation. "We took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States".

"Firing Mueller would create a firestorm, and may even lead to impeachment", said Utah GOP Sen.

Egged on by some of his strongest supporters, Trump has taken an increasingly combative posture toward Mueller's investigation since FBI agents raided the home and office of the president's lawyer Michael Cohen earlier this month.

Grassley-chaired Senate Judiciary Committee approves bill protecting Mueller