"After receiving the president's order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said".
The Judiciary Committee has a bipartisan bill on its agenda for Thursday's markup, which may be held over for a week before consideration.
Given all of that, what McConnell should have said - and what he did say at another point in the interview - is that he thinks it is pointless to bring any sort of legislation that ties the president's hand vis a vis the special counsel to the floor because, even if it did pass the Senate, Trump would assuredly veto it. It wouldn't take that many Republican senators to do it, only about 1/3 of them would be enough. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of SC and Democratic Sens. The public gets that - literally hundreds of thousands have pledged to hit the streets if Trump makes a move on Mueller or the deputy attorney general overseeing him, Rod Rosenstein.
Grassley acknowledged McConnell's comments on Wednesday, saying that the majority leader has a "terrible job" but adding that he "can't worry about what's going on on the floor".
"There's no question, and the Democrats would even concede this, that the president would be an asset [in those states]", McConnell said. "I'm encouraged with the progress and I'm hoping that we can convince McConnell to change his mind". As one of my astute Twitter followers pointed out, the majority leader's stance is akin to refusing to buy vehicle insurance because you have no plans to get into an auto accident anytime in the future. "If I were the leader I wouldn't bring a bill to the floor that I didn't think had a realistic chance of passing". McConnell said in the Fox interview.
"It's not necessary in my judgement", McConnell said. "The president keeps slamming Mueller, and I think that politically just doesn't play well, even with folks I know who are part of the president's base".
Grassley said he showed a copy of the amendment to the bill's sponsors and California Sen.
The committee's chairman, Sen.
Feinstein said that some proposed changes appeared to be acceptable, but she still had concerns about requiring law enforcement officials to report prosecutorial decisions during an ongoing investigation.
Grassley pushed back on Democratic criticisms that he was trying to undercut the bill or Mueller's probe. "The reality here is that there are stronger and stronger signals that this President -who has acted in an abrupt and unconventional and untraditional and unwise way - may very well do exactly the same against Bob Mueller and it would be wise for us to take it up and consider it".