A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Thursday that would require the government to produce “substantial and credible evidence” before it would grant immunity to whistleblowers and the media.
The House of Representatives, however, is moving ahead with a bill that would prevent the Department of Justice from providing immunity to journalists.
The Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to add Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Republican from Connecticut, to the bill.
The legislation would also prohibit the Justice Department from issuing a waiver for whistleblowers.
The legislation, which is now before the House, is part of a broader bipartisan effort to prevent the Trump administration from granting the president immunity from prosecution for its illegal spying on the press and the political opposition.
“This bill is intended to ensure that the government does not give immunity to anyone who has done or will do anything that would endanger our democratic system,” Murphy said in a statement.
“We are taking our fight against the Trump Administration to the American people, and we must do it now.
We are going to work with the Judiciary Committee to ensure this important legislation is fully funded, has bipartisan support, and will be signed into law before it becomes law.”
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up the bill this week.
In the Senate, a bipartisan group is pushing to prevent journalists from being granted immunity from criminal prosecution.
The bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on a bill Wednesday that would make it a felony for the Justice Departments to grant immunity for reporters.
“If the press were to be granted immunity, journalists would be protected from criminal investigations, prosecution, and imprisonment,” the bill reads.
“This is a fundamental right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The press should be free to report the news without fear of being prosecuted or threatened with prosecution for doing so.”
The White House has said it has no plans to change its stance on journalists.