Senator Jeff Flake announced Thursday his intention to force a vote on legislation that will protect special counsel Robert Mueller so that he can continue his rigged witch hunt against the President.
Flake boasted that he and Democrat Sen. Christopher Coons will go to the Senate floor next week to try and get a deal on advancing the controversial legislation.
“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. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel,” Flake tweeted on Thursday.
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. After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 8, 2018
Thehill.com reports: Under Senate rules, Flake can go to the floor and ask for consent to set up a vote or even pass a piece of legislation. But any one senator can block his request, and given the opposition within the GOP caucus to the special counsel bill, Flake’s move will likely be unsuccessful.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation last year that would protect Mueller, or any other special counsel, in the event he is fired, but the bill has stalled amid opposition from GOP leadership.
The bill would codify Justice Department regulations that say only a senior DOJ official can fire Mueller or another special counsel.
It would give a special counsel an “expedited review” of their firing. If a court determines that it wasn’t for “good cause,” the special counsel would be reinstated.
Flake’s decision to try to get a vote next week comes after Trump removed Sessions as attorney general this week and named Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’s chief of staff, as his temporary replacement.
The Justice Department confirmed that Whitaker would take over oversight of Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election, which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had overseen after Sessions recused himself last year due to his work on the Trump campaign.
Whitaker has previously been critical of Mueller’s investigation and his ascendence to atop the Justice Department on Wednesday sparked immediate calls from Democrats for him to recuse himself and for Congress to pass legislation protecting Mueller.
But Democrats, who are in the minority, are not able to muscle through legislation protecting Mueller on their own. And Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have repeatedly denied the need for the bill because they have said they do not believe Trump will fire Mueller.
“I haven’t seen a clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don’t think that’s going to happen, and that remains my view,” McConnell told reporters in April.
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