Politics

Chuck Grassley Pulls Judicial Votes As Jeff Flake Protests Confirmations Over Mueller Bill

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Molly Prince Politics Reporter

The Senate Judiciary Committee late on Wednesday canceled the committee’s panel votes on nearly two dozen judicial nominees scheduled for later in the week.

The committee was expected to vote to advance six of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Circuit Courts and 15 to District Courts, as well as multiple bipartisan pieces of legislation, according to Politico.

The cancellation is occurring as outgoing Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake pledged to oppose all judicial nominations until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedules a vote on Flake’s bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, however, has not explicitly said if the cancellation is due to Flake’s resistance.

Flake and Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, the bill’s co-sponsor, tried to pass the legislation by unanimous consent earlier in the day, but it was blocked by Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Lee argued the bill would “fundamentally [undermine] the principle of separation of power.” (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Set To Head Up Senate Judiciary Committee)

McConnell is able to bring the judicial nominations directly to a floor vote, regardless of whether they are voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has been refusing thus far to bring the Mueller legislation to the floor and seems unlikely to change his mind, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.”

Senator Jeff Flake speaks with Senator Chuck Grassley during Judge Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 (Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)

Senator Jeff Flake speaks with Senator Chuck Grassley during Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 (Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images)

“This president’s not going to fire Robert Mueller, nor do I think he should, nor do I think he should not be allowed to finish,” McConnell said. “We have a lot of things to do to try to finish up this year without taking votes on things that are completely irrelevant to outcomes.”

The spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request to comment.

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