On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee defied Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and voted for a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by the chief suspect in his investigation, President Trump (this is a protection that existed under the old Independent Counsel law that Congress allowed to expire after Ken Starr). Senate panel approves bill to protect special counsel:
In a 14-7 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan proposal that deeply divided Republicans on the committee.
With every committee Democrat backing the legislation, only one Republican was needed to secure passage.
In the end, four Republicans voted for the bill: Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.).
Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Ben Sasse (Neb.), John Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) opposed it.
The vote marks the first time Congress has advanced legislation to formally protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump, who has railed against him in public and reportedly talked in private of dismissing him.