Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down the movement to pass a bill protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Trump. According to McConnell, the Senate will not be taking up legislation designed to thwart any attempt by Trump to fire Mueller. The Senate Judiciary Committee was likely to approve a bill doing just that this week.
McConnell said in an interview Tuesday with Fox News that he thinks it’s unlikely that Trump would fire Mueller, so the legislation is unnecessary.
“I am the one who decides what we take to the floor,” McConnell of Kentucky said. “That’s my responsibility as majority leader. And we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate.”
The Judiciary Committee planned to debate the legislation that has bipartisan support that would have let the special counsel seek an expedited judicial review of any dismissal. The action would have had to be for “good cause.” Judiciary panel Chairman Chuck Grassley plans to vote on the measure anyway next week. Senators on the Committee have continued to work on the bill even though McConnell has publicly said that he didn’t think it was necessary.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said in a statement, “It’s a mistake not to pass legislation to protect the investigation.”
“We ought to head off a constitutional crisis at the pass, rather than waiting until it’s too late,” Schumer said.
Trump lashed out at Mueller last week after FBI agents, under the direction of federal prosecutors in New York, raided the offices of his personal lawyer. The president called Mueller’s investigation “disgraceful” and an “attack on our country.” He called it “corrupt” and said Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation, have conflicts of interest.
The bill that McConnell says is unnecessary is sponsored by Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Chris Coons of Delaware and Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Grassley told the committee’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, he expects to propose an amendment to the bill on Wednesday.
Do you think McConnell’s decision will truly impact this movement to protect Mueller?