Two senators who sit on the Judiciary Committee plan to introduce bipartisan legislation Thursday that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller from any attempts by Donald Trump to impede the Russia investigation. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware seek to ensure that Mueller can’t be summarily dismissed on orders from Trump without cause or without recourse. The AP writes:
The bill would allow any special counsel for the Department of Justice to challenge his or her removal in court, with a review by a three-judge panel within 14 days of the challenge.
The bill would be retroactive to May 17, 2017 — the day Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Donald Trump’s campaign.
“It is critical that special counsels have the independence and resources they need to lead investigations,” Tillis said in a statement. “A back-end judicial review process to prevent unmerited removals of special counsels not only helps to ensure their investigatory independence, but also reaffirms our nation’s system of check and balances.”
Frankly, this seems like a great idea, not only now but for future investigations too, though it’s unclear how much of an appetite GOP lawmakers—especially those in the House—have for curtailing Trump’s power. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another member of the Judiciary Committee, has certainly expressed support for the idea and is reportedly working on his own bill.
Couldn’t come a moment too soon either. Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly questioned the integrity of Mueller’s investigation, with another swipe coming just last night.
Good god, Hannity, don’t “expose” the special counsel—we thought Fox was family friendly TV. Guess all that behind-the-scenes sexual harassment takes a toll after a while.