North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis’s Proposed Bill to Limit the President’s Final Authority to Fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller is an Act of Grandstanding

Thom Tillis


Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons are co-sponsoring a bill that would permit a judicial panel to reinstate Department of Justice-appointed special counsels such as Robert Mueller if they are fired without good cause, the senators announced in a statement today. The language of the bill would require misconduct, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good reason before the special counsel could be removed.


The proposed bill represents grandstanding on the part of Tillis, and it is aimed at President Trump. He knows that the bill would likely not pass since it would require 100% backing from the Democrats and two additional Republican votes besides Tillis. Sen. Lindsay Graham is strange enough to vote for it, but even if he did (or, if a couple of others, like McCain, voted for it), President Trump would veto the bill: This would require a 2/3rds vote to override the veto. That is not possible.

Moreover, the House probably would not approve of it. There are Constitutional “executive” problems with the proposed bill as well.

We think the President should consider having the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, fire Mueller if he strays away from the mission of determining whether Russia was involved in the election. There are already signs that Mueller is turning the investigation into a witch hunt, much like Kenneth Starr did in the Bill Clinton investigation. There is some question regarding the specific language in the documentation that defines Mueller’s scope of duties. We would think the Attorney General kept the scope of inquiry narrowly tailored to the Russian matters.

Then there is the issue of whether the Grand Jury process is being abused: Is it possible for Trump to get a fair shake when one of the Grand Jury Panels was formed in Washington D.C.?  The President received around 3% of the vote there.

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