sunny.png
Sunday May 19th, 2019 10:47AM

Senate committee poised for vote on bill to protect Mueller

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to vote Thursday on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's job — legislation that has split Republicans as President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Mueller's Russia investigation.

Two Republicans and two Democrats introduced the bill earlier this month as Trump ramped up criticism of the special counsel. Mueller is investigating potential ties between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign as well as possible obstruction of justice by the president.

The measure under consideration would give any special counsel a 10-day window to seek expedited judicial review of a firing and would put into law existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel must be fired for good cause. A handful of Republicans have supported it, but most have opposed it, arguing that it is unconstitutional or unnecessary. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has argued that Trump won't move to fire Mueller and has insisted he will not hold a full Senate vote on the legislation.

Republicans who support the bill could be at risk of angering Trump and some of his supporters they represent. But the four lawmakers who wrote the legislation — GOP Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey — are hoping to win enough bipartisan support to move it out of committee. Then, they say, they could try and find enough support in the full Senate to persuade McConnell to change his mind.

With most Democrats on board, the bipartisan group has been working in recent days to gather additional Republican votes. They have been negotiating with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who had floated an amendment that included increased reporting to Congress by the special counsel.

Democrats had initially opposed Grassley's amendment, saying it could undermine the investigation if the special counsel had to reveal too much to Congress during the investigation. But a revised Grassley amendment released Wednesday evening appeared to be a potential compromise, dropping a section that would have required the special counsel's office to report to Congress if the scope of the investigation changed while it was ongoing. The revised amendment would require that notification after the investigation was done, along with a report detailing the investigation's findings and explanations of any charges.

The Grassley amendment would also require notification if a special counsel were removed.

Republicans opposing the bipartisan bill are expected to vote for an alternative resolution that would express a nonbinding "sense of the Senate" that Mueller should be left alone to do his job.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and a member of the Judiciary panel, endorsed that idea Wednesday, saying it had a more realistic chance of passing than the bipartisan bill. He is expected to propose the resolution at Thursday's vote.

The resolution "may be a way forward because it avoids the unconstitutionality issue on a bill that the president won't sign and the House won't pass," Cornyn said. "So that may be a place for us to land."

Trump's legislative director, Marc Short, said in a broadcast interview Sunday that "as far as I know, the president has no intention of firing" either Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's investigation. Short said he couldn't rule it out in the long term, though, because it's not known "how far off this investigation is going to veer."

The bipartisan group of four senators introduced two separate bills last August when Trump first started to criticize Mueller publicly. That legislation stalled for months, but was revived and the two bills were combined two weeks ago as Trump fumed about a raid of his personal lawyer's office, in an investigation overseen by federal prosecutors in New York.

After the raid, Trump said the Mueller investigation is "an attack on our country" and is "corrupt."

Trump said in a telephone interview Thursday with "Fox & Friends" that he "won't be involved" in the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling Thursday, but added he may change his mind. Trump called Mueller's probe " a disgrace."

"I am very disappointed in my Justice Department. But because of the fact that it's going on, and I think you'll understand this, I have decided that I won't be involved," Trump said. "I may change my mind at some point, because what's going on is a disgrace."

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Politics, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Asian markets mixed as investors consider latest earnings
Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors digested the latest quarterly corporate earnings
12:31AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Jury focuses on Cosby's star witness; his lawyers face heat
Jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are kicking off a second day of deliberations by revisiting the testimony of a star defense witness who cast doubt on accuser Andrea Constand's credibility
12:30AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Manhunt underway for suspect in killing of sheriff's deputy
A manhunt is underway for the suspect in what is believed to be the first killing of a law enforcement officer in Maine in nearly 30 years
12:27AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Lawyer: Trump ready for role in raids' evidence review
A lawyer for Donald Trump says the president is ready to offer his opinion on what evidence seized from his personal attorney's home and office are protected by attorney-client privilege
12:03AM ( 40 minutes ago )
The Latest: Police take serial killing suspect by surprise
A California sheriff says a former police officer accused of being a serial killer and rapist was taken by surprise when deputies swooped in and arrested him as he stepped out of his home
12:02AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Bruins score 4 in 3rd to beat Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7
Jake DeBrusk scored his second goal of the game to break a third-period tie, and the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals
11:59PM ( 44 minutes ago )
AP National News
Tears flow as victims of Waffle House shooting remembered
A Nashville community has rallied to support the victims of a weekend shooting at a Waffle House by stopping by to get a meal after the restaurant re-opened
11:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ex-cop arrested in sadistic crime spree from '70s and '80s
DNA match leads to arrest in sadistic California crime spree of 1970s and '80s
11:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Central American asylum seeking caravan reaches US border
About 130 Central Americans in a "caravan" of asylum-seeking immigrants that drew President Donald Trump's fury has arrived in the Mexican city of Tijuana bordering the U.S.
10:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Arizona's only black legislators chastised after race talk
Arizona's only two black legislators are formally chastised by House after speaking out against a Republican lawmaker's published column, which included a racial slur and they say derided black activists
10:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sessions defends Trump pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending President Donald Trump's pardons of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Bush administration official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
10:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
Federal court sides with Florida in voting rights battle
With time running out, a federal appeals court sided with Florida in an escalating battle over the state's process for restoring voting rights for former prisoners
9:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Facing Congress, EPA chief doesn't appear ready to apologize
Republican senators want President Donald Trump's environmental chief to address questions about ethics and spending decisions, but Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt does not appear ready to apologize
7:09PM ( 5 hours ago )
Democrats demand more details on CIA nominee's covert work
Three Democratic senators are stepping up their demands for more information about the former undercover spy President Donald Trump has picked to lead the CIA
6:28PM ( 6 hours ago )
US House moves to block spill of dam water to aid salmon
The U.S. House approved a bill that would effectively stop the spilling of water from four Pacific Northwest dams to help migrating salmon reach the Pacific Ocean.
6:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Asian markets mixed as investors consider latest earnings
Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors digested the latest quarterly corporate earnings
12:31AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Jury focuses on Cosby's star witness; his lawyers face heat
Jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are kicking off a second day of deliberations by revisiting the testimony of a star defense witness who cast doubt on accuser Andrea Constand's credibility
12:30AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Manhunt underway for suspect in killing of sheriff's deputy
A manhunt is underway for the suspect in what is believed to be the first killing of a law enforcement officer in Maine in nearly 30 years
12:27AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Court won't return tigers, exotic animals to Ohio man's home
Another court is denying an Ohio man's bid to have his six tigers and other exotic animals returned to his roadside sanctuary
12:21AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Nation's nastiest GOP primary playing out in Pence's Indiana
For a glimpse of red-state politics in the era of Donald Trump, look no further than Vice President Mike Pence's home state of Indiana, where a grueling GOP Senate race has been dubbed the nation's nastiest primary
12:21AM ( 23 minutes ago )