Support is gathering behind a bipartisan push to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from potentially being fired by President Donald Trump.
Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, plan to introduce a measure Thursday that would bar the President from directly firing any special counsel — retroactive to Mueller’s appointment in May.
The measure would also effectively shut down another avenue for firing Mueller — mandating that only an attorney general confirmed by the Senate would have the power to remove the special counsel. Trump has openly blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the federal Russia probe, leading to speculation he may try and find a new attorney general who would fire Mueller.
“It is critical that special counsels have the independence and resources they need to lead investigations,” Tillis said in a statement Thursday. “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.”