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

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by Molly Prince

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley announced late on Wednesday that he was cancelling the committee’s panel votes on nearly two dozen judicial nominees scheduled for later in the week.

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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 Sen. Jeff Flake has 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. Grassley, however, has not explicitly said if the cancellation is due to Flake’s resistance.

Flake and Democratic 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 Sen. Mike Lee. Lee argued that the bill would “fundamentally [undermine] the principle of separation of power.”

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.”

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“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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