OffbeatFlake, Coons plan effort to bring up Mueller protection bill after Sessions firing

23:55  08 november  2018
23:55  08 november  2018 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Some in GOP clamor to protect Mueller

Some in GOP clamor to protect Mueller “The risk that the president is going to do something sudden and risk a constitutional crisis is a reason to do it,” Coons said.

Republican and Democratic senators first introduced bills aimed at protecting Mr. Mueller late last summer. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider their constitutionality not long after . But an effort to combine two competing and bipartisan bills languished for months

A bipartisan Senate bill designed to protect special counsel Robert Mueller 's job is on track for a vote in the Judiciary Committee The combined version of two Mueller protection measures, released Wednesday, would give any special counsel 10 days after a termination to challenge the move in court.

Flake, Coons plan effort to bring up Mueller protection bill after Sessions firing© (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Sen. Jeff Flake, center, R-Ariz., speaks with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., while returning to the Capitol after they worked with a bipartisan group of moderate senators to find a way to reopen the government on Day 2 of the federal shutdown, in Washington on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Thursday that he and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., next week will push for a vote on a bill that would help protect the investigation being run by Robert Mueller into possible interference in the 2016 election by foreign actors.

The renewed interest in the bill comes after Jeff Sessions was forced to resign by President Trump on Wednesday and replaced by his chief of staff at the Justice Department, Matthew Whitaker. The legislation would add multiple new requirements to govern a special counsel investigation, including that the lone individual who could end an investigation would be the senior-most official at the Justice Department who is Senate confirmed. The senior-most official at the department currently is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the investigation.

Republican lawmakers largely accept Trump ousting Sessions

Republican lawmakers largely accept Trump ousting Sessions Senate Republicans have largely accepted the ousting of their former colleague from the post of Attorney General

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he doesn’t believe there is a need for Congress to pass any kind of legislation aimed at protecting special counsel Robert Mueller . “I don't think he's going to fire Mueller ,” the House Speaker said of the president.

If he is fired , Mueller would have 10 days to seek an expedited judicial review of his dismissal. If the court determines he was not fired for good cause Still, he warned that " firing Mueller would cause a firestorm and bring the administration’s agenda to a halt, and could even result in impeachment (of

"When the Senate convenes next week, @ChrisCoons and I will ask for unanimous consent to bring S.2644, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, to a vote on the Senate floor," Flake said in a tweet. "After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel."

Additionally, the bill, which is co-sponsored by Coons, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., would allow Mueller or another special counsel to challenge their removal in court. It was initially introduced in April. It is unlikely to pass by unanimous consent.

The Senate is slated to reconvene on Tuesday for the first time since mid-October and the midterm elections.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had called for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation.

Demonstrators gather outside White House to protest Sessions' ouster.
A group of demonstrators gathered outside the White House on Wednesday night to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions resignation at President Trump's request. 

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