A Majority Of Senators Now Support Bill Protecting Mueller From Trump

A majority of US Senators, two Republicans and all 49 Democrats, are supporting a bipartisan bill that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by Trump.

Senators have struggled to merge two bills to protect Mueller into one piece of legislation that a majority can agree on. A bipartisan group of four Senators including Republicans Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC) have joined with the Democrats to come up with a single piece of legislation to protect the Special Counsel.
Greg Sargent reported in The Washington Post that there is optimism because Tillis would not have gone forward if he didn’t receive a signal from leadership, “In that context, it is the timing of this bill that creates reasons for (very) cautious optimism. According to an aide to a Democratic senator on the committee, the feeling is that Tillis would have been unlikely to move forward with it unless he had received a signal that it might result in action. That’s because Tillis had sponsored one of the previous Mueller-protection bills, which didn’t go anywhere, and Tillis might not have any appetite for getting humiliated by a second failure.”

How this bill should be viewed

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is playing the Trump/Mueller situation both ways. While publicly denying that there is for the bill right now, Republican leadership looks like they are getting the bill in place in case it becomes necessary. Republicans may want to have a piece of legislation ready to come to the Senate floor at a moment’s notice in case Trump moves against Mueller.

The important motivation to always keep in mind is that Senate Republicans like having Mueller investigate because it keeps them at arm’s length from the Russia scandal. The last thing that Republicans want is to have the Russia scandal dropped into their laps before the midterm. If Republicans let this bill move through committee, it should be seen as a warning to Trump to back off of Mueller.

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