Is Mueller really protected?
A special panel of the Senate has approved a proposal that would protect any special lawyer from being fired by the president, but Trump's interventionism in Congress could leave it shelved.
Last Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee managed to advance a legislative proposal that could protect special lawyer Robert S. Mueller III from being fired by Trump.
After months of threats, a cornered president has maintained his swing between claiming his innocence, discrediting the FBI, and attacking the former director of the bureau, James Comey, whose latest move as a civilian was extremely painful for Trump.
Many fear that the president’s new rage burst would be to dismiss Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises him, triggering a serious constitutional crisis.
That is why a bipartisan group of senators (Lindsay Graham, Thom Tillis, Christopher Coons and Cory Booker) reached a compromise with the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, Chuck Grassley, to approve a bill that would protect Mueller.
According to NBC News, “the final version allows a special counsel fired by the attorney general or other senior Justice Department official to challenge the action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.” Similarly, the bill "would protect any and all documents relevant to the special counsel’s investigation during that legal challenge."
Despite the great achievement of bipartisan collaboration in a matter like this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he "won’t bring the proposal to the floor of the Senate for a vote," USA Today reported.
"There’s no indication that Mueller is going to be fired," McConnell said to Fox News. "I don’t think the president’s going to do that and just as a practical matter, even if we passed (the bill), why would he sign it?”
And McConnell could be just right.
Mueller conducts extensive research on Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and alleged obstruction of justice by the president.
Despite McConnell's reluctance, the Senate Committee's decision is a "strong message to the president not to dismiss Mueller," Utah Republican Senator Orrin G. Hatch said.
As reported by the Washington Post, "every member of the committee who spoke Thursday said it would be unwise - or worse - for Trump to move against Mueller." For Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse (who voted against the proposal), if Trump turned against Mueller, it would be "political suicide."