[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – At a meeting today of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called for a vote to be scheduled on bipartisan legislation to protect the Special Counsel and his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible Trump campaign collusion with efforts to interfere in our democratic institutions, and obstruction of justice.
“I want to focus, finally, on the critical moment that we’ve reached in protecting the Special Counsel. What we are seeing is escalating threats of the most severe and intimidating kind from the White House. Specifically, the President of the United States is using his bully pulpit to bully in an unprecedented, truly historic way,” Blumenthal said at the meeting.
“So what I would ask, Mr. Chairman, is that before we leave, that you indicate that we will be voting on this legislation when we come back, and that we will vote it out of Committee. I am sure we will have others who believe this legislation is necessary to send a message to the White House that firing the Special Counsel would be intolerable, it would cause a constitutional conflagration – a confrontation of unprecedented proportions, even more serious that the Saturday Night Massacre that appeared during the Watergate-era and prompted a crisis at that time.”
Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act (SCIPA), which ensures that any action by the Attorney General or Acting Attorney General to remove a special counsel from office must first be reviewed by a panel of federal judges. SCIPA ensures that any special counsel may only be removed by the Attorney General after petitioning a federal court to establish that there was or is misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause for removal. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in August by Blumenthal and U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Similar legislation has also been introduced by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE).
The full video of Blumenthal’s remarks at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up is available for download here. His remarks on the importance of protecting the Special Counsel begin at the 2:00 mark.