GOP senator urges Trump not to fire Mueller

GOP senator urges Trump not to fire Mueller
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A GOP senator who has sponsored legislation to protect Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey: Trump's 'Spygate' claims are made up Trump taps vocal anti-illegal immigration advocate for State Dept's top refugee job Seattle Seahawks player: Trump is 'an idiot' for saying protesting NFL players 'shouldn’t be in the country' MORE on Friday against firing the special counsel.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Overnight Defense: Over 500 amendments proposed for defense bill | Measures address transgender troops, Yemen war | Trump taps acting VA chief as permanent secretary Trump to nominate acting VA secretary to lead department MORE (R-N.C.) said "everyone" benefits from the Mueller investigation concluding unimpeded.

Tillis, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called it "critically important" to the country that the special counsel conclude his investigation without any perceptions that it was shut down by the executive branch.

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"If the president actually removes the special counsel without good cause, it would likely result in swift, bipartisan backlash and shake the country’s faith in the integrity of our legal system," Tillis writes.

"The result would not be good for the American people, the Republican Party or the president," he added.

Tillis warned that the "speculation" that Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinThere is no justice in undermining the special counsel investigation Schumer: Call off GOP-only 'sham briefing' on FBI informant Bowing to pressure, White House to host bipartisan briefing on Russia investigation MORE could be fired is harmful to Republicans trying to achieve the president's legislative agenda. Rosenstein oversees the probe, and is likely the one official who could actually fire Mueller — though the White House this week said it believes Trump could fire Mueller directly.

"The constant headlines and rumors that Trump is considering or has considered removing Mueller — 'fake news' or not — are a distraction from the president’s agenda and successful policy initiatives," Tillis says.

Tillis has sponsored legislation that would create a judicial review process for firing the special counsel.

"Letting his investigation run its course is in the best interest of the country, and it is the only option to ensure that the American people have trust in the process," he said. "This is critically important because it means when the investigation concludes, our country can move forward together. Our bill will help ensure that happens."