Republicans Push Bill To Protect Mueller, Without McConnell's Support

Legislation to protect Mueller 'not necessary,' McConnell says

The senators, who had introduced two separate bills, merged their legislation together after Trump declared he could fire Mueller, leading an investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian officials that the president has called a "witch hunt". It has been done only once before, in the case of Andrew Jackson (coincidentally a Trump favorite), and was later reversed.

McConnell this month began threatening Senate Democrats with longer workweeks if they continue to slow-walk the confirmation of President Trump's nominees. "We ought to head off a constitutional crisis at the pass, rather than waiting until it's too late". "Why even flirt with the prospect of a president challenging the very nature of our system of government?" They fear that a move against Rosenstein would not grab as much attention as dismissing Mueller and that Rosenstein's successor could then constrain the inquiry.

"I don't know from where Leader McConnell gets his confidence Trump will not take action to interfere with this investigation", he said.

Despite McConnell's resistance, Sen.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, made the announcement Wednesday, one day after McConnell announced the vote would not happen. It appears to have a strong chance of receiving the committee's approval. Nevertheless, when the bipartisan quartet of senators behind the measures struck a compromise deal last week, Grassley was quick to promise their bill time in the Judiciary committee - and even propose an amendment of his own to give Congress an additional backup option to better review an order to fire a special counsel, even if the courts strike down the specific judicial review procedure outlined in the measure.

Grassley acknowledged McConnell's comments on Wednesday, saying that the majority leader has a "terrible job" but adding that he "can't worry about what's going on on the floor".

"If we go down and we pass it out of the committee and make it a lot of political theater, it's going to go nowhere", Tillis said. Grassley and other Republicans such as Sen. "It's on us to convince the leader that it's a worthwhile effort", Tillis said. "He can't make an agreement one month and say, 'OK, we really didn't mean it, ' and come back the next month and say, 'Oh, we really didn't mean our agreement'".

The fight over the measure is taking place as James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, continues a high-profile media tour promoting his tell-all about clashes with Trump.

There are plenty of Republicans who say they agree the issue should be taken seriously, but they want to lobby Trump quietly - not through an aggressive public measure like voting on this bill.

When asked if he'll be shocked if Trump fired Mueller, McConnell responded, "Yes, I don't think he should and I don't think he will".

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