GOP senator: Congress needs ‘to move on’ from Russia probe

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonContinued efforts to pass 'right to try' legislation should fail GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary House to vote to send 'right to try' bill to Trump’s desk next week MORE (R-Wis.) said early Thursday that it’s time to “move on” from the investigation into Russia’s election interference to other issues like the debt and deficit.

During an interview with CNN’s “New Day,” Johnson said the investigation should have ended “months ago.”

“We have enormous challenges. You talked about the debt and deficit. We need to move on with those things,” Johnson told host Chris Cuomo.

The remarks from the Wisconsin senator come after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThis week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure Kennedy retirement rumors shift into overdrive How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe MORE (R-Iowa) said he is moving forward with legislation aimed at protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE from being fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo to outline post-deal strategy on Iran Trump asking aides whether he should proceed with North Korea summit: report Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all MORE, despite opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE (R-Ky.). Mueller is investigating Moscow’s election meddling and any potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and the Kremlin.

In addition to Mueller, two Senate panels — the Intelligence and Judiciary committees — are also conducting probes into the 2016 election interference. The House Intelligence Committee ended its investigation last month, despite protest from Democrats.

Johnson said he would like to see the special counsel probe “come to a conclusion” and expressed uncertainty over whether a bill protecting Mueller would withstand legal challenges.

“I would question the constitutionality of that type of law, but I’ll cross that bridge when it actually comes to the Senate floor, if it does,” Johnson said.

The White House said last week that Trump believes he has the power to fire the special counsel, who reports not to him but to the Justice Department.

The president tried to ease fears of such an ouster on Wednesday. 

“They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months, and they’re still here,” Trump said from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.