Senate Dem: Firing Mueller a red line Trump 'cannot cross'

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRussians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit Top Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment' Dem senator: We need other Americans in the room with Trump, Putin MORE (D-Va.) on Thursday warned that firing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE is a line that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE "cannot cross" following new reports that Trump ordered the White House counsel to fire Mueller last year.

“I’ve said it before, and I am saying it again: firing the Special Counsel is a red line that the President cannot cross," Warner said in a statement reacting to a bombshell report by The New York Times that Trump attempted to fire Mueller last summer.

Trump, who has repeatedly blasted the special counsel's probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia as a "witch hunt," reportedly backed down last June after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign. 


"Any attempt to remove the Special Counsel, pardon key witnesses, or otherwise interfere in the investigation, would be a gross abuse of power, and all members of Congress, from both parties, have a responsibility to our Constitution and to our country to make that clear immediately," Warner said Thursday. 

Warner is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own investigation into Russian meddling. The Virginia senator has repeatedly criticized Trump for being "unwilling" to recognize the security threat posed by Russia. 

Mueller reportedly learned of Trump's attempt to fire him, a move long cautioned against  by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and is now investigating top officials from Trump's administration who are currently in office or who left over the past year.