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

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority GOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it 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.

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The remarks from the Wisconsin senator come after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech 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 TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE, despite opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved 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.