News

Politics & Policy

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Shielding Mueller

Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill in 2012. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday shielding Special Counsel Robert Mueller from potential dismissal.

The bill, which passed 14–7 with the support of all the panel’s Democrats and four Republicans, codifies Department of Justice regulations that limit the reasons a special counsel can be fired, requires Congress be given advanced notice of an impending firing, and gives a terminated special counsel the chance to appeal their firing in court.

The measure has little chance of going to the Senate floor for a vote as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly indicated he doesn’t believe it is necessary.

The committee chairman, Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), made a last minute change to the bill Wednesday night to ensure its passage, removing a provision that would require the special counsel to notify congressional leadership “if there is any change made to the specific nature or scope” of their investigation. Democrats on the panel were reportedly concerned that the language would be used to provide Republicans an advanced opportunity to rebut forthcoming findings in the press.

“It is possible the bill goes too far,” Grassley said at a committee meeting Thursday. “But at the very least, if my amendment is adopted, it will require the executive branch to give more information to Congress, and that will allow Congress to do its job more effectively and to safeguard the interests of the American people.”

Rank-and-file Democrats continue to emphasize the importance of the legislation in light of Trump’s continued public attacks on Mueller’s investigation, while Republicans outside of the committee have been hesitant to voice their support, though many have publicly cautioned Trump against firing Mueller.

Trump indicated he might intervene to stop the probe Thursday morning during a phone interview on Fox & Friends.

“You look at the corruption at the top of the FBI — it’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “And our Justice Department, which I try and stay away from, but at some point I won’t…”

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Elephant Man: Neglected David Lynch Classic

Released in 1980, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man is the one Lynch film that found a mesmerizing middle ground between conventional Hollywood story structure and its director’s surreal dreamscapes. Yet today it seems on the verge of being forgotten, and that’s a shame. It’s an exceptionally unusual and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Keeping Catholic Foster Care in Philly

Last week, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a complaint in a Pennsylvania district court on behalf of foster parents working with Catholic Social Services at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Despite issuing a recent plea for more people to step up as candidates for foster parents, the city of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

De Blasio’s Delusions

In an interview with MSNBC, Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, offers himself as a lodestar for the Democratic party, touting his “progressive economic populism” as a winning formula for 2020 and beyond. One gets the impression that de Blasio, who has never been known for his humility, believes he has a ... Read More