Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) confirmed Wednesday that he wants the bill from anti-Trump Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) designed to protect special counsel Robert Mueller to be brought forward.
Tillis’s bill, the “Special Counsel Integrity Act,” would require a showing of “good cause,” as determined by a panel of judges, to fire a special counsel, such as Mueller. If Trump were to fire Mueller with this bill in place, a court could reinstate him if it found the firing was not “for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause, including violation of policies of the Department of Justice.”
Tillis is a Republican who has frequently clashed with the president and his agenda, particularly on immigration, where, despite his fiery denials, he has been a steadfast supporter of mass amnesty for illegal aliens and threatened to block Cabinet nominations for insufficient increases in cheap labor visas. He has also been consistently supportive of Mueller and his “Russia investigation.”
Joining Tillis in sponsoring the Special Counsel Integrity Act is Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).
Fellow anti-Trump, pro-amnesty Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a similar bill with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Grassley told the Hill he hopes to take up the bill or bills at his committee’s business meeting on Thursday, but he needs ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to sign on. “In order to do that, the Minority would need to assent. Committee rules require such assent within 72 hours of a markup. Grassley has sought that assent, and is waiting to hear back,” Grassley spokesman George Hartmann told the Hill.
Feinstein has yet to make her decision known.
Grassley’s push to bring this legislation forward comes a day after he expressed renewed support for Mueller and his investigation. “[I]t would be suicide for the president to want, to talk about firing Mueller. The less the president said on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be,” he said Tuesday on the Fox Business Network.