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Mitch McConnell won't allow a vote on bipartisan legislation to protect Robert Mueller

On April 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on, and likely advance, a bipartisan bill that would give special counsels like Robert Mueller 10 days to appeal their firing to a panel of three federal judges, who would decide if the firing was for "good cause" and have the option to declare the move illegitimate. Two bipartisan groups of senators wrote different versions of the legislation in the fall, after President Trump hinted he might fire Mueller, and they blended the rival bills into one last week.

Even if the bill passes through committee, though, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News on Tuesday he won't allow it to come up for a vote before the full Senate. "I am the one who decides what we take to the floor," McConnell told Neil Cavuto. "That's my responsibility as majority leader. And we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate." McConnell argued that the bill is "not necessary" because "there's no indication that Mueller's going to be fired ... and just as a practical matter, even if we passed it, why would [Trump] sign it?"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), once a skeptic of the bill's constitutionality, promised to bring it up for a vote, even proposing his own amendment to give Congress a second option to review a special counsel's firing in case the courts strike down the bill's primary judicial review process. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called it "a mistake not to pass legislation to protect the investigation," adding, "We ought to head off a constitutional crisis at the pass, rather than waiting until it's too late."