Senators to Trump: Let Mueller finish Russia probe

Senators to Trump: Let Mueller finish Russia probe
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Senators, some of them Republicans, are preparing to formally signal to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE that he shouldn't fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

Two groups of senators are offering "sense of the Senate" resolutions as amendments to a bill to protect the special counsel that is set to get a committee vote on Thursday.

The resolutions are nonbinding, meaning even if they get added to the Mueller bill and passed the Senate, they don't have the force of law or require Trump's signature.

But they would formalize a message to Trump that senators have been giving publicly for months: Let Mueller finish his probe into the 2016 election.

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One of the amendments is being offered by GOP Sens. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (Utah) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchPutin summit puts spotlight back on Trump's tax returns Lighthizer to testify before Senate next week as trade war ramps up Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS MORE (Utah).

"Robert Mueller should be permitted to finish his work in a timely fashion," the GOP amendment says.

But the GOP senators also appear to take a swing at the bill protecting the special counsel, saying that Congress "should not resurrect unconstitutional barriers to executive authority."

Each of the three GOP senators have said they don't believe the bill to protect Mueller, or any other special counsel, is constitutional.

But it appears unlikely the GOP amendment will be passed. It would effectively replace the entire special counsel legislation and swap it out for the nonbinding GOP resolution — a move Democrats are unlikely to support.

A spokeswoman for Cornyn declined to say if the No. 2 GOP senator would offer the amendment as a stand-alone resolution if Republicans aren't successful on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinChicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate MORE (D-Ill.) is offering two amendments that would give Senate backing to calls for Trump not to fire Mueller.

One amendment would take the place of the entire special counsel bill and urge Trump to not fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinCarter Page warrant reflects attack on our civil liberties Hillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia MORE.

"It is the sense of the Senate that President Donald J. Trump should not terminate Special Counsel Robert Mueller or the supervisor of the Special Counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, during the pendency of the investigation by the Special Counsel," Durbin's amendment reads.

A separate amendment would add the same sense of the Senate into the bill, but keep the rest of the legislation intact.