WASHINGTON — Bipartisan legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller now lies in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance it.McConnell, R-Ky., has said the bill is unnecessary and he won’t let it reach the Senate floor. But the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee added to the pressure on McConnell by voting for the measure and say McConnell should change his mind.“While my constitutional concerns remain, I believe this bill should be considered by the full Senate,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.Republicans have split on the issue amid President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of Mueller’s Russia investigation. That break was apparent Thursday as four Republicans joined Democrats in the 14-7 vote to pass the legislation from committee. For now, the move is largely symbolic, given McConnell’s opposition, but it shows the complexity of Republican support for Trump when it comes to the president’s attacks on Mueller.Nearly all GOP senators say Trump shouldn’t fire Mueller. But Republicans who support the legislation say it’s necessary to guard against presidential interference by giving Congress more oversight power.Two Republicans and two Democrats introduced the bill this month as Trump ramped up criticism of Mueller, who is investigating potential ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign as well as possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Arizona Cardinals’ Mike Iupati (76) gets ready to put a block on Josh Mauro, left, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires It was 15 starts for Iupati in 2016, but he started only one game in 2017 before requiring surgery on his right elbow that ended his season.Related LinksSam Bradford must be a bridge to the Cardinals’ futureReport: Giants free agent OL Justin Pugh weighing Cardinals offerArizona Cardinals sign former Bengals OT Andre SmithIupati was the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Idaho by the San Francisco 49ers. In San Francisco during his rookie year, he played under new Cardinals offensive line coach Ray Brown, then an assistant offensive line coach.Iupati played for five seasons in San Francisco, making three Pro Bowls and earning First Team All-Pro in 2012.Iupati’s contract restructuring follows the news of the Cardinals planning to sign quarterback Sam Bradford to a one-year, $20 million deal. That deal for Bradford has $15 million guaranteed and a team option for a second year at the same base salary, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.Along the line, the Cardinals reportedly will sign former Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith. They also put former New York Giants lineman Justin Pugh through a physical on Wednesday that checked out, according to Jurecki.When healthy — Pugh ended 2017 with a back injury placing him on IR — the 27-year-old has been one of the better, most versatile linemen in the league. He played 128 snaps at left guard and 308 at right tackle last year. 18 Comments Share The Arizona Cardinals will retain a significant name on the offensive line, as guard Mike Iupati will return to the team despite its ongoing cost-cutting measures, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki reported Wednesday.Iupati agreed to take a pay cut, dropping his base salary from $7.75 to $5 million guaranteed. His contract is voidable next season, Jurecki confirmed.The 30-year-old Iupati signed a five-year, $40 million deal with the Cardinals in 2015. He started in 13 games for Arizona that season, making the Pro Bowl for the fourth time and being named a Second Team All-Pro. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Pugh would potentially slide in at right guard with Iupati returning and Smith and D.J. Humphries playing tackle.Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what will happen with Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer, who remains under contract but could be the odd man out with the new additions. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact