Tags: thom tillis | bill | protections | mueller | russia | probe | trump

GOP Sen. Tillis Defends His Bill Protecting Mueller

Image: GOP Sen. Tillis Defends His Bill Protecting Mueller
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By    |   Monday, 16 April 2018 11:52 AM

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis has defended himself against criticism from fellow Republicans who are angry that he is a lead sponsor of a bipartisan bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from interference by President Donald Trump, Politico reported on Monday.

Tillis acknowledged that he is taking a political risk, but insists it is philosophically consistent with how Republicans would be treating a Democratic president.

"Courage is when you know you're going to do something that's going to anger your base," Tillis told Politico.

"The same people who would criticize me for filing this bill would be absolutely angry if I wasn't pounding the table for this bill if we were dealing with Hillary Clinton. So spare me your righteous indignation."

What makes Tillis' stance all the more noteworthy is that he is not the kind of Republican who typically challenges Trump. Tillis has backed the president's agenda and does not publicly criticize his tweets.

While others in the party abandoned Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape emerged during the campaign, Tillis kept his endorsement.

Tillis insists that his position is a crucial fight against what he calls "situational ethics:" Politicians changing their stances based on who is in the White House.

"The only way you get these things done [is] when you have somebody who is willing to take the heat when you're in the majority," Tillis said. "You see it all the time. Hammer the table when it benefits you, not when it disadvantages your guy that has the same jersey on. There's no rational explanation except being duplicitous."

Tillis said last week that he wants the Judiciary Committee to vote on his bill, which would allow a special counsel a 10-day window to fight a potential removal by the Trump administration, saying "it's a good bill that has enduring value beyond this presidency," according to The Hill.

He explained that passing the law now would offer future protections against liberal presidents under investigation, as well as taking away a major talking point from Democrats who have been criticizing Republicans for not doing more to safeguard Mueller and the rule of law.

Tillis already helped break a legislative logjam by merging his and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons' bill with a competing version from Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Lindsey Graham. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is now expected to put it up for a vote on the panel by the end of the month, and it is likely to pass the committee.

However, convincing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it to the floor appears to be a much more difficult task.

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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis has defended himself against criticism from fellow Republicans who are angry that he is a lead sponsor of a bipartisan bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller.
thom tillis, bill, protections, mueller, russia, probe, trump
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2018-52-16
Monday, 16 April 2018 11:52 AM
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