Republicans Slowdown Push To Legally Protect Mueller From Trump Firing

Special counsel Robert MuellerExecutive Office of the President of the United States/Public Domain

Even with the president's escalated rhetoric regarding Mueller's Russia probe, the GOP is making little progress.

Legislation written last year by Republican senators would allow a panel of federal judges to assess President Donald Trumps order to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, should that occur. But the measures have not yet passed, and those same Republicans are exhibiting no sense of urgency regarding the matter.

[T]wo different bipartisan proposals have been mired in negotiations for months. And despite continuing signs from the president that he is unhappy with Mueller’s investigation — which prompted the initial call for the legislation — Republicans appear to be losing their resolve to act.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), who co-authored one of the measures, said recently that talks are ongoing, but Democrats remain unconvinced:

“There is a sense that the wagons have been circled,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-sponsor of one of the two bills. Blumenthal said his GOP colleagues are under “political pressure” not to cross the president on Russia.

“The question is really whether our Republican colleagues have a sense of emergency that I think befits our present situation,” Blumenthal said.

House GOP are in no rush to hold the president to account either, with no legislation on the table at all.

On the other side of the Capitol, House Republicans have not drafted parallel legislation, many of them instead joining forcefully with Trump in criticizing Mueller’s investigation. In particular, they have called for a separate independent investigation of political bias within the FBI, following revelations of texts between bureau officials disparaging Trump.