A group of Democrats led by incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler introduced a bill Thursday aimed at protecting special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.
The bill was introduced amid growing fears that President Donald Trump may decide to fire Mueller and put an end to his probe, which he often refers to as a “witch hunt.”
The proposed legislation is known as the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act and if passed it would ensure that Mueller or any other special counsel in the future could be dismissed only for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or other good cause. The bill would also give the special counsel written notice of his or her removal and the opportunity to challenge the move in court, The Hill informs.
However, for now, it is not very likely that the legislation would be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate, where last year Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked such bills from reaching the Senate floor multiple times. He maintained the President has no intention of firing Mueller, hence the legislation was completely unnecessary.
Nadler and Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Steve Cohen introduced the bill shortly after Democrats took control of the House, arguing that acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker’s intentions regarding the probe were “questionable.”
“As the Special Counsel announces new indictments and guilty pleas from Trump’s closest allies and associates, it’s clear that the threat to the Mueller investigation will only grow stronger,” the representatives said. “Democrats and Republicans in Congress have mentioned their support for the inquiry to continue unimpeded. Now is the time for Congress to finally act and pass this legislation to protect the integrity of the special counsel’s investigation and the rule of law.”
Democratic lawmakers introduced a similar bill last year after the office and hotel room of the President’s former lawyer were raided by the FBI and Trump increased his attacks on the special counsel’s Russia investigation. But as the House was then controlled by the GOP, the legislation had slim chances of passing in Congress.