Democrat hopes McConnell changes mind about bill to protect Mueller's job

Casey Dawson
April 20, 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's already said it will never see the Senate floor, calling the bill unnecessary.

"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. He added, "We'll not be having this on the floor of the Senate".

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday he's determined to hold a committee vote next week on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job, but his path to getting a vote by the full Senate may rely on convincing Republican leaders that the measure isn't aimed at President Donald Trump. "Given the number of times in recent days the President has tweeted or spoken directly or indirectly in ways that I think threaten the investigation led by Special Counsel Mueller".

Speaking to reporters after Thursday's hearing, Grassley would not commit to supporting the bill without seeing what changes lawmakers approve next week, but said it is targeted just as much at the future as it is towards Mueller. In the months since Sens.

The compromise was introduced this month by Republicans Lindsey Graham of SC and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democrats Chris Coons of DE and Cory Booker of New Jersey, as President Donald Trump asserted that he has the authority to fire the man investigating connections between Trump's campaign and Russian operatives.

Grassley was among those raising constitutional concerns.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote later this month on a measure that would enshrine in law Justice Department regulations saying that a special counsel can only be fired for good cause and by an senior Justice Department official.

"I don't think he should fire Mueller and I don't think he's going to", the Kentucky Republican said in the interview. Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

McConnell this month began threatening Senate Democrats with longer workweeks if they continue to slow-walk the confirmation of President Trump's nominees. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the committee, said McConnell's statements will not change his plans to bring the bill up again next week.

"Last fall, I said we're not going to do anything in this area unless you get together".

Though he has yet to say if he will vote for the bill, it's expected to have enough support to clear the committee.

"At the very least, if it's passed out of this committee, it's ready, and it could go at any time on the floor", said Feinstein, the ranking member on Judiciary. In 2016, he refused to take up a criminal justice overhaul that could have passed the Senate with the backing of Grassley and many other Republicans, citing objections from a handful of conservatives.

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