Like many prominent members of the GOP, Sen. Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) has criticized President Donald Trump on various occasions, but has otherwise resolutely supported the president’s agenda. Except when Trump hints about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, Raw Story reports.
Trump Will Have More Hoops To Clear If He Tries To Fire Mueller
And in an analysis published by The Charlotte Observer, it’s clear that Tillis has criticized Trump on numerous times for his habit of “distracting” people away from key policy issues, but the senator has avoided introducing any tangible legislative action against Trump. Both share the same base, so that’s the likely reason Tillis has been recalcitrant.
Tillis noted that he’s supported Trump, pretty much right on down the line.
“I have not deviated once from any nomination or any vote that the president happens to be supportive of. This has more to do with tone and message and discipline.”
There is, however, one big difference.
Tillis has introduced a bill that protects special counsel Robert Mueller if he is removed by Trump. The senator added:
“I try to eliminate distractions. I think some folks are trying to create additional distractions over the Russia investigation. I don’t have any evidence to suggest the White House had any intention of doing it (firing Mueller), but it’s a helpful way to take it off the table.”
Tillis’ criticism of Trump’s remarks — and his recent introduction of the Special Counsel and Integrity Act, which is also sponsored by Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, are part of a growing trend among GOP lawmakers who have sharp words for the president on Twitter and in statements, yet still continue to work with him and do not want Trump to be impeached.
When it comes to white supremacists & neo-nazis, there can be no equivocating: they’re propagators of hate and bigotry. Period.
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) August 15, 2017
The measure would prevent Trump from directly firing any special counsel, CNN notes. It’s retroactive to Mueller’s appointment in May.
Earlier this month, Tillis told CNN:
“The President would maintain the power to remove the special counsel, but we would just want to make sure that it had merit and have that back-end judicial process.”
“And if there is a termination, we just want to make sure through judicial review, that it was warranted.”
And the measure also includes another avenue that would make it tougher for Trump to fire Mueller. It mandates that only an attorney general confirmed by the Senate has the power to remove the special counsel.
Trump has been particularly upset with Sessions and has openly ripped him for recusing himself from the federal Russia probe. Now there’s speculation that the president may try to find a new attorney general who’d be more likely to fire Mueller.
Congress May Have Work To Do
Tillis has praised Sessions, adding that he is “doing a great job.” He added that if the bipartisan measure passes through Congress, Trump may veto the bill. And “it means that we’d have work to do to potentially override a veto.”
Let’s hope the Republicans can get their act together to do this. Unlike their failed attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, this measure sounds worthwhile and will hopefully ensure that the Trump administration will be effectively investigated in the ongoing Russia probe.
Featured Image By CBS News Via YouTube Video.