Tags: robert mueller | legal protection | bipartisan

Mueller Protection Bills Have Bipartisan Support, but Legal Path Unclear

Mueller Protection Bills Have Bipartisan Support, but Legal Path Unclear
Special counsel Robert Mueller (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:32 AM

Special counsel Robert Mueller may gain added legal protection from Congress, but the path for such legislation is uncertain, The New York Times reports.

Two Republican lawmakers, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, submitted bills that would shield Mueller from "reprisal," after President Donald Trump suggested in August that he might have Justice Department officials fire the special prosecutor.

However, the Senate Judiciary Committee has encountered trouble in verifying the constitutional validity of their proposals after a number of constitutional scholars provided the committee with "hours of conflicting testimony," leaving the legislators "uncertain if their legislation would end up on the Senate floor," according to the Times.

"I want the president to know that there is a process in place, and there are checks and balances long before you got here," Graham told the Times. "And they will be here long after you're gone."

His bill, co-sponsored by New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, would force the attorney general or their deputy to get permission from a panel of federal judges before firing a special counsel.

Graham added of Mueller, "I just want everybody in America to know that he is going to do his job without fear of reprisal."

Tillis said that the purpose of his legislation was more to provide checks and balances, rather than in response to Trump. His, introduced with Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, would impose a judicial review process once a special counsel is fired, in which the attorney general would have to show good cause for the termination to a panel of federal judges.

"We are not here to clip any one president's wings, but to create a check on any future presidents," he told the paper.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told the Times that he and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were unsure that the bills submitted by their colleagues were constitutional.

"The overriding concern I have whenever we are talking about this area is that bad things happen when we depart from the three-branch structure of the federal government," Lee said.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller may gain added legal protection from Congress, but the path for such legislation is uncertain, The New York Times reports.
robert mueller, legal protection, bipartisan
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2017-32-27
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 11:32 AM
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