The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14-7 Thursday to advance a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's job - legislation that has split Republicans as President Trump has repeatedly criticized Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) voted against the measure. After it's passage, they say, they could try and find enough support in the full Senate to persuade McConnell to change his mind.
Republicans said the bill was not necessary because Trump was not going to fire the special counsel, who is probing Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen.
"The founders anticipated that we would wield the powers the Constitution affords us with great ambition so that we could effectively check the powers of the other branches", Grassley said.
Mr Trump appeared to suggest he has no intention of trying to fire Mr Mueller, for now.
Republicans for the Rule of Law, which has been airing ads in defense of Mueller, put out a statement showing its appreciation.
"The president's continued threats against the investigation, followed by tepid reassurances that he will leave the investigation alone "for now" are deeply troubling and completely untethered from the tenets of our democracy", said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn following the vote.
Only one in four GOP voters, 26%, said they believe Mueller is conducting his investigation fairly, dropping from 36% over the same span.
Four Republicans - Grassley, Graham, Tillis and Sen. A resolution could also specify: "In the event the special counsel and/or deputy general counsel is fired without cause, Congress shall subpoena all documents relating to the investigation".
Instead, most Republican senators reckon that Trump will simply choose not to fire Mueller.
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Giuliani, a former United States of America lawyer and onetime mayor of New York Metropolis, joined Trump's authorized workforce final week and proclaimed his intent to deliver the Mueller investigation to a swift finish.
The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, introduced by Republican Sens.
"It's going to be a tough row to hoe, but a farmer has to hoe a lot of tough rows", he said. A handful of Republicans supported the bill, but most have opposed it, arguing that it is unconstitutional or unnecessary.
Almost every Republican on the panel said they did not think Trump should take steps to fire Mueller.
And Trump's attacks on Mueller and his investigation have been escalating for months. An increasing number of lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to protect Mueller should Trump move against him.
"The investigation should be allowed to run its course".
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"It's important that we not overstep our constitutional authority", Hatch said.
Removing Mueller or Rosenstein with the objective of removing Mueller "would blow up in his face".
Mueller, in turn, told Giuliani that he wished to ask the president about the decisions he made during the transition and early months of the administration.