The legislation to shield the special counsel comes as President Trump continues to criticize Russia investigation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance legislation designed to make it more difficult for any president to dismiss a special counsel, a signal to President Donald Trump amid Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia probe.
Four Republicans, including committee chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voted with all 10 of the panel's Democrats to send the bill to the Senate floor. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he won't allow the full chamber to vote on it, saying in an interview last week, "We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate."
The legislation represents a compromise between Grassley and a bipartisan foursome who had long advocated the measure: Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Christopher Coons, D-Del.; and Cory Booker, D-N.J.
The final version allows a special counsel fired by the attorney general or other senior Justice Department official to challenge the action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It also would protect any and all documents relevant to the special counsel’s investigation during that legal challenge.
“It’s not about Mr. Mueller, it’s not about Trump, it’s about the rule of law,” Graham said at the hearing. “It’s about a system for today, tomorrow, and forever, that makes sure that nobody — even the President — is above scrutiny.”