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 TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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 CornynSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (Utah) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate 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 DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court 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 RosensteinTrump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Jeff Sessions returns to Justice Department to retrieve Cabinet chair 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.