Republicans face renewed pressure on Mueller protection bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are facing renewed pressure to pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, with a handful of GOP senators urging their leadership to hold a vote now that President Donald Trump has pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons say they will try to bring up the legislation for a vote on the Senate floor Wednesday. They say action is necessary due to Sessions’ departure and his replacement’s criticism of Mueller’s Russia investigation. While that effort isn’t expected to be successful, the bill is supported by several other Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to hold a vote on the legislation, saying it’s unnecessary because he doesn’t think Mueller will be fired.