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Senate Committee to Move Ahead on Mueller Protection Bill Despite McConnell’s Rejection

The Senate Judiciary Committee will press forward with a vote on legislation aimed at shielding special counsel Robert Mueller from political interference, its chairman told reporters on Wednesday. The pronouncement from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) came a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) poured cold water on the effort, saying definitively that he would not give the legislation a full floor vote. “I can’t worry about what’s going on on the floor,” Grassley told reporters. “Last fall, I said we’re not going to do anything in this area unless you get together. They got together, so I feel an obligation to keep my word and move forward.” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), the lead Democratic sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, dismissed McConnell’s comments. “Good for him,” Coons joked when asked about the majority leader’s assessment. “I don’t know why Majority Leader McConnell can confidently say it is incredibly important to protect Robert Mueller and his investigation from interference—I agree—and I’m absolutely confident that this president will take no inappropriate action. Are we watching the same thing?”

—Andrew Desiderio