Congress is considering legislation that would bar Trump from being able to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and derail the Russia Investigation.
Although many bills are submitted by the Senate, but “die” in the Committee process, this one is expected to get a committee vote. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said that his powerful Judicial Committee would take a committee vote – potentially putting them on a path to full passage of the bill in the Senate.
However, this almost immediately created a political firestorm, with republicans and democrats pointing the finger.
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, pleaded,“[I] urge the members of the Judiciary Committee to approve this legislation without watering it down or weakening it with amendments.”
The Democrats’ apprehension centers on a proposed change from Chuck Grassley, which would enhance the reporting requirements that Mueller’s investigation would have to report to Congress.
“If the amendment compromises or defeats the basic purpose of the bill [it’s] a non-starter,” stated committee member, Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, remarking that Congress should not place “political pressure” on the investigation related to Mueller. She added that, “I’m worried about an amendment we haven’t been able to review that could undermine the investigation.”
Democrats are concerned that Republicans can use their power in the Committee review of the proposed legislation to hijack the bill.
“I am concerned if it does anything to violate the separation of powers and the fact that the investigation should be allowed to continue and not have … Congress dictating what’s happening,” stated Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota).
Grassley called the charge, “completely unfounded.”
“I’m at a loss to see how a call for the administration to be more transparent about decisions involving the special counsel … would undermine the Mueller investigation. … This delay is uncalled for and unnecessary,” said Grassley.
Senator Thom Tillis added further, “I do hope that my colleagues on the other side will take a serious look at the amendment that we’re talking about; I think it makes sense. Part of it’s just, you haven’t seen it.” Tillis said the upcoming amendment also contains “increased transparency to address some of the concerns with some of the actions of some of the people in the Department of Justice that didn’t seem appropriate.”
One of the co-sponsors of the legislation, Senator Lindsey Graham was open to the alteration of the legislation. He said,
“They’re trying to work out an amendment … which I think is a good amendment,” Graham further said, “We’ll see if they can do that.”
Grassley’s resolution to give the legislation a committee vote seemed to catch Grand Old Party leadership unwary.
“Frankly, there hadn’t been a lot of communication from the committee or anybody else about what’s going on,” stated Senate Majority Whip, John Cornyn.
Mitch McConnell offered the insight that, “most members of Congress” believe Mueller ought to be given the rights to carry on his investigation.
Senator Tim Scott put forward that the majority in Congress will vote to allow it to happen.
“There’s a two-thirds majority at least in both bodies, perhaps a three-quarters majority, who want this investigation to be completed,” Scott said.
However, many Republican senators state they remain convinced that President Donald Trump would not attempt to fire Mueller.
Republican Senator John Kennedy (Louisiana) said President Donald Trump is “smart enough” to identify that dismissing Mueller will “provoke a reaction from Congress.”
“I just think all this is premature and academic,” the Senator said. “The President likes to manage out loud. … He clearly grows anxious when he has an unexpressed thought.”