Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today voted to advance legislation designed to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired without cause.
“Firing Special Counsel Mueller without cause would violate Justice Department regulations, fly in the face of federal law and represent an incredibly dangerous abuse of power,” Feinstein said.
“The bill we voted out of committee today is another safeguard against such an action by President Trump. I’m glad the bill is bipartisan. Republicans and Democrats alike must stand up and ensure Special Counsel Mueller can continue his investigation without interference. The American people must know the truth, and this bill should now be brought before the full Senate for debate and a vote.”
The bill includes a provision that would allow a special counsel to challenge his or her firing in court. That provision was originally in the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act and is designed to protect a special counsel from removal without “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause.”
The bill approved by the committee also requires special counsels to submit a report to the attorney general and Congress “detailing the factual findings of the investigation and explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.”
It also requires information about whether the attorney general approved or denied a request by the special counsel to change his or her jurisdiction. The bill’s reporting requirements would occur only upon conclusion of the investigation, not while an investigation is active.