McConnell: I won't put legislation to protect Mueller on Senate floor

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Grassley told the committee that McConnell's views "do not govern what happens here in the Judiciary Committee".

Though the committee was initially scheduled to consider the bill today, Grassley delayed the legislation's markup until next week at the request of a few senators. "I'm encouraged with the progress and I'm hoping that we can convince McConnell to change his mind".

That was the most forceful refusal we've heard from McConnell about a bill to protect Mueller, which is expected to get a committee vote as soon as this week after overcoming months of hurdles in behind-the-scenes negotiations.

"While I'm glad the majority leader believes the president would be wrong to fire Special Counsel Mueller, it's a mistake not to pass legislation to protect the investigation", Schumer said in a statement. This leaves the door wide open for Trump to do as he pleases with Mueller, and shows how spineless and cowardly Mitch McConnell truly is.

"I think this will be one that history will judge us all", Warner said.

McConnell said in a Fox News interview Tuesday that he wouldn't put the bill on the floor. The new bill is a merger of two bipartisan bills introduced last August, and its sponsors hope the current version is clear of the constitutional questions legal experts raised about the original legislation at a hearing previous year.

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Why don't I just fire Mueller?"Trump said".

In addition to Booker, other senators supporting the bill include Republicans Lindsey Graham of SC and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware.

Given that Trump has made very clear he does want to fire Mueller, rejecting such a bill is a risky move on McConnell's part. During the meeting, Grassley addressed why he was brining the bill up in committee after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated it would not come up for a vote on the Senate floor.

The bill makes it clear a special counsel can only be fired for good cause and gives a deposed counsel 10 days to seek judicial review of his or her firing.

He continued: "I'm focused on making sure we get to a mark-up on the Judiciary Committee next Thursday and that we're in a place for it to get passed the Judiciary Committee". "What I don't trust is future presidents who I don't know yet". Feinstein has concerns about the amendment and said last week that she anxious an amendment that the committee was unable to view could "undermine" the special counsel.