Sen. Collins: ‘Absolutely essential’ Mueller be allowed to finish probe

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Ernst, Fischer to square off for leadership post Democrats seize on DOJ's ObamaCare decision ahead of midterms MORE (R-Maine) said Tuesday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE must be permitted to finish his investigation into Russia’s election meddling and any potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and Moscow. 

“It would be a devastating development if Mr. Mueller were in any way impeded in completing his investigation,” Collins said on CNN’s “New Day.” “It is absolutely essential that he be allowed to complete it.”

Collins’s latest remark comes amid heightened concern among Democrats and some Republicans over the special counsel’s investigation following a report in The New York Times that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Seth McFarlane: Fox News makes me 'embarrassed' to work for this company  'Art of the Deal' co-author: Trump would act like Kim Jong Un if he had the same powers MORE wanted to fire Mueller last year, but backtracked when the White House counsel threatened to quit. 

Collins on Tuesday emphasized that Mueller has “great experience” and "impeccable integrity,” and therefore should be able to finish the investigation.

The Maine lawmaker, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee that is conducting its own Russia probe, said earlier this week that a bill to protect Mueller “probably wouldn’t hurt.”

“It would certainly not hurt to put that extra safeguard in place, given the latest stories,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Democrats have ramped up calls for legislation to shield Mueller following the Times’s report.