Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Thursday he supports having a vote on a bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired.
“It’s legitimate that the bill be brought up,” he said. “It would satisfy me if it became law because I voted for it.”
Grassley’s comments run counter to those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Wednesday he did not want the measure to be taken up by the full Senate.
The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, passed by the Judiciary Committee in April on a 14-7 vote, requires unanimous support. If passed, the bill would mandate that the special counsel can be fired only for good cause by a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official. A judge would then have 10 days to decide whether the firing fell under the legislation’s criteria for good cause and stop the firing if necessary.
In response, Flake promised to block all federal judicial nominees until the legislation is voted on.
"Sen. Coons and I are prepared to make it again and again until there is a vote on this vital, bipartisan legislation on the Senate floor," Flake said.
While Grassley said he was not “in the forefront with Flake advocating that the leader do so and so,” he believes the legislation should pass.
“I’m not going to be in forefront with Flake advocating that the leader do so and so, but I wouldn’t do anything to stop it,” he said. “Usually, a chairman of a committee if he doesn’t want a bill brought up can … object to unanimous consent,” he said.
[Flake] said McConnell doesn’t want to bring it to the floor because he’s worried about angering President Trump.
The legislation would codify existing Department of Justice regulations requiring that the special counsel can only be fired for good cause by a Senate-confirmed Justice Department official.
It would also create a 10-day window for a judge to decide whether any termination of a special counsel is for good cause and stop the firing if it fails to meet the cause requirement. (The Hill)
Meanwhile, President Trump carried on with his criticism of Mueller, tweeting Thursday:
"Universities will someday study what highly conflicted (and NOT Senate approved) Bob Mueller and his gang of Democrat thugs have done to destroy people. Why is he protecting Crooked Hillary, Comey, McCabe, Lisa Page & her lover, Peter S, and all of his friends on the other side?"