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Sen. Coons: Senators Making Bipartisan Efforts to Protect Mueller

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By    |   Friday, 04 Aug 2017 02:23 PM

Sen. Chris Coons said Friday he decided to collaborate with a Republican counterpart to keep President Donald Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller because they both felt it was important to allow the investigation into Russian interference in the election to continue.

"Sen. [Thom] Tillis and I and Sen. [Lindsey] Graham and Sen. [Cory] Booker have introduced two bills that are designed to provide protections for Bob Mueller," the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

The bills are being presented as independent measures in order to protect Mueller from a firing, and to give him protection should his dismissal happen, said Coons, who noted that he found Tillis' involvement to be a surprise.

Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, came across the floor of the Senate and said that he wanted to present legislation, said Coons, and that was a "striking moment for him."

"We've all gotten used to the idea that there's a number of Republican senators who are standing up to the president, obviously, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, others," said Coons.

"This is the first time that Sen. Tillis, with whom I've worked on other issues, has chosen to step forward and introduce a bill that is expressly designed to restrain the president's power to act in an abrupt and in an inappropriate way."

Coons said the bill he and Tillis presented would allow Mueller, if he is fired, to appeal the decision before a three-judge panel, and the one that Graham and Booker presented would require Trump to present his call to remove Mueller to a panel as well.

"There was some concern he might, given his recent tweets threatening so, that he might fire Jeff Sessions and then replace him with an acting attorney general who would then do his bidding and fire him," said Coons.

"Rod Rosenstein is the current deputy attorney general, and he has said in testimony that he would not fire Bob Mueller without cause."

Coons also pointed out that the Senate, instead of going into open recess this month, will in pro-Forma sessions every three days so Trump can't quickly fire Sessions and make a recess appointment of someone who would fire Mueller.

The four senators might work together to come back in September with a bill that would have bipartisan support to protect Mueller, the senator said.

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Sen. Chris Coons said Friday he decided to collaborate with a Republican counterpart to keep President Donald Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller because they both felt it was important to allow the investigation into Russian interference...
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2017-23-04
Friday, 04 Aug 2017 02:23 PM
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