A group of four senators who had originally written two separate versions of a bill that would provide added protections for special counsel Robert Mueller against dismissal have now combined efforts to produce one bill. The Washington Post writes:
Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced they had completed legislation that would delay any order to fire a special counsel by 10 days, giving that counsel a window to appeal the decision to a panel of three federal judges.
The bill further stipulates that during the 10-day period, no documents or materials related to the counsel’s investigation could be destroyed or staffing changes made.
The hurdle now comes down to GOP leadership and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, in particular.
Grassley has expressed skepticism in the past about the constitutionality of the measures, and refused to schedule the bill for consideration until the two bills — filed last summer — were fused into one piece of legislation.
Sen. Coons told the Post that Grassley is “seriously considering” moving on the bill in committee. If it were to be passed out of committee, it would still face two more hurdles: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, both of whom have said they don’t see any urgent need for such a measure.
UPDATE: Grassley’s changing his tune…
Asked about Donald Trump’s recent musings about firing Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Ryan responded on Wednesday:
“I have no reason to believe that that is going to happen and I have assurances that it’s not.”
“Why?” the reporter asked.
“Because I’ve been talking to people in the White House about it,” Ryan said.
Right, because the White House has proven to be so dependable. So much for Ryan suddenly growing a spine now that he doesn’t have to worry about re-election.