New Legislation to Protect Robert Mueller From Trump

Updated | New bipartisan legislation seeks to protect the Russia investigation’s special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump.

“If the special counsel is removed, the legislation allows the special counsel to challenge the removal in court,” wrote Michigan Democratic Representative John Conyers Jr.‏ of the new bill he introduced in the House Thursday.

Conyers is proposing the legislation with Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, and they intend it to be a companion to a bipartisan bill the Senate launched in August to bar the president from firing any special counsel. The laws would be retroactive to Mueller’s appointment in May.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 20. New House legislation seeks to protect Mueller. Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Mueller is conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign and whether it helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election. He was appointed to lead the investigation on May 17 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump said in an interview with NBC News shortly after he fired Comey that the FBI director was removed because of the Russia investigation.

In personal unclassified memos that Comey said he leaked to The New York Times, the former FBI director documented several private meetings and conversations with Trump where he said the president repeatedly urged him to drop a strand of his investigation looking at fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Related: Mueller is “going for the kill” on Trump-Russia investigation, Republicans believe: report

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on claims she made earlier this week that Comey’s leaked memos broke the law.

“The Department of Justice has to look into any allegations of whether or not something’s illegal or not,” she said, accusing Comey of “leaking of information, questionable statements under oath, politicizing investigation.” Sanders said, “Those are real reasons for why he was fired.”

At the end of August, The Wall Street Journal reported Trump’s lawyers met personally with Mueller and laid out a case defending the president against accusations of obstruction of justice for firing Comey.

“A special counsel should never have been…

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