Congressman Cohen Files Petition for Floor Vote on Bill to Protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller Investigation
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today filed a discharge petition to require House Speaker Paul Ryan to call for a floor vote on the Special Counsel Integrity Act (H.R. 4669), a bill he and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) introduced in December to create procedural protections for independent special prosecutors. The bill would prohibit a special prosecutor from being fired without appropriate cause, and allow a special prosecutor who has been removed to seek judicial review of such removal.
Under House rules, a discharge petition signed by a majority of the House members can force the Speaker to bring a bill to the floor for a vote.
Congressman Cohen said he is taking the action to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. Recent statements from President Trump and his lawyers suggest Mr. Mueller’s tenure may be in jeopardy.
The Special Counsel Integrity Act stipulates that a Special Counsel can only be removed or disciplined for cause including misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause, including violation of Department of Justice policies. The bill would also allow a special counsel who has been removed to seek judicial review of such removal.
Congressman Cohen made the following remarks:
“It’s now very clear that Director Robert Mueller needs protection and should not be subject to inappropriate removal based on the whims of a hot-tempered President. The President’s lawyer, John Dowd, on Saturday called for the Mueller investigation to be shut down. On Friday night, the Justice Department fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who asserted that the action was part of the Trump administration’s ongoing ‘war’ against the Special Counsel’s investigation.
“Recent events particularly concern me because it seems the President fears that Mueller is close to revealing findings relevant to his mandate and that ending the investigation is the only way to prevent its public release. If the President has nothing to fear, let the investigation continue. The President maintains there was no collusion or obstruction of justice. Let’s let Mueller finish his job and find out.
“But as he does so, let’s make it clear he can’t be removed without the legal protections our bill provides.
“I’m calling on Members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats, to join me in letting the Special Counsel Integrity Act come to the floor for a vote. At this point, the country deserves nothing less.”