The Senate Judiciary Committee fired a political warning shot at the White House on Thursday, advancing on a bipartisan vote long-stalled legislation to allow special counsels such as Robert S. Mueller III to appeal their firing to a panel of judges and possibly be reinstated.
The results were published just moments after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation to protect the special counsel. The motion passed 14-7 with four Republicans joining the Democrats in favor: chairman Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), and Jeff Flake (Arizona).
Thursday, Grassley said "transparency and accountability" are in the public interest. The bill says a special counsel may be fired only by the attorney general, and only for good cause, according to the New York Times description.
The committee's top Democrat, Sen. Four Republicans joined Democrats in approving it, including Sens.
This bill combines two older pieces of bipartisan legislation proposed by the sponsors this past August. He said any attempt to restrict the authority vested in the president is unconstitutional. John Kennedy (R-La.), who voted down the measure during Thursday's panel vote, told IJR that the bill picks an "unnecessary fight with the president" and that he's confident McConnell won't bring it to the floor.
He has previously said he does not believe that President Donald Trump would fire special counsel Mueller, and that he does not plan to allow a vote on it. After a firing, the special counsel would have 10 days to seek an expedited review of his dismissal.
"I am very disappointed in my Justice Department".
The final version of Grassley's amendment, which was adopted by the committee on Thursday, requires the Justice Department to report to Congress when the special counsel investigation ends to detail the findings of the investigation, any changes to the special counsel's jurisdiction during the probe and an explanation of the decisions to prosecute or not prosecute.
Special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a June 21, 2017, meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Both senators voted against it in committee.
The seven Republicans are: Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, that would have essentially gutted the bill and replaced it with a symbolic show of support for Mueller's work.
The legislation has divided Republicans, pitting a handful of senators who want to protect Mueller against others who have leveled a variety of objections to the bill - including questions about its constitutionality and whether it is necessary.