- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Republican senators are warning that any effort to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be met with stiff resistance — with Sen. Lindsey Graham saying Thursday that “there will be holy hell to pay” if the attorney general is pushed out.

President Trump has lashed out at Mr. Sessions repeatedly in recent days, saying he’s disappointed with the attorney general over numerous actions, including his recusal from the Russia investigation into interference in the presidential election and possible coordination with members of the Trump campaign.

“This effort to marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate. I don’t think its going over well in the conservative world,”

Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Thursday. “If you believe Jeff Sessions should be fired, use the power you have and accept the consequences.”

And Republicans have begun to make clear what some of those consequences could be.

Mr. Graham said he intends to introduce legislation that would provide protection for special counsel Robert Mueller, and any future special counsel investigations, making any attempts to fire him subject to judicial review.

The proposal, which he said is bipartisan, would ensure “a special counsel cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the president or his team unless you have judicial review of the firing.”

Similar protections and the requirement of judicial oversight were included in an old law that outlined the formation of an independent counsel, but Congress let that statute expire.

“Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” Mr. Graham said. “There is no reason to believe Mueller is compromised.”

Legal experts have said the dismissal of Mr. Sessions would not spell immediate doom for the special counsel probe, which was appointed to take over the Russia investigation after Mr. Sessions recused himself from the investigation because of his close ties to the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley has warned that if Mr. Sessions is ousted, his committee does not intend to hold any confirmation hearings for attorney general nominees for the rest of the year.

“Everybody in D.C. Shld b warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way,” the Iowa Republican tweeted Wednesday.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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