The bill that passed was crafted by two Republicans and two Democrats earlier this month as Trump escalated criticism of Mueller and his investigation of potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign as well as possible obstruction of justice by the president.
If he is fired, Mueller would have 10 days to seek an expedited judicial review of his dismissal.
Mueller is heading the federal investigation into Russia's electoral interference and possible collusion with the Trump presidential campaign. And most opponents of the bill also voted for an amendment, which was not adopted, that included the line: "Robert Mueller should be permitted to finish his work in a timely fashion".
The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act - a combined version of two previously-introduced Senate bills created to protect Mueller's investigation - was introduced earlier this month.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on McConnell to "immediately" bring the bill up for a full Senate vote.
Trump's comments drew swift condemnation from former Justice Department officials and congressional Democrats, who said he had violated the long held norm that the president should not insert himself in criminal investigations.
"It's not about Mr. Mueller, it's not about Trump, it's about the rule of law", Graham said at the hearing. And if it did win lawmakers' approval, President Donald Trump would likely veto the bill.
With most Democrats on board, the bipartisan group had worked this week to gather additional Republican votes.
"But because of the fact that it's going on, and I think you'll understand this, I have decided that I won't be involved".
"The objective is the same, to ensure the special counsel investigation is completed fully and fairly", Blumenthal said.
He added later: "I do not think we need to willy nilly appoint special counsels, and as we can see, it can really take on a life of its own".
"Because special counsel investigations only occur where there is a conflict of interest within the executive branch, special counsel investigations are usually matters of great national concern", he said in a statement. The four Republicans who supported it were the committee's chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of SC and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. The president tweeted his outrage after the raid, causing lawmakers from both parties to warn against the firing of the special counsel.
Leahy said at this point he does not believe the investigation led by Mueller would be derailed if Mueller were fired. "It could even result in impeachment".
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