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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 TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE that he shouldn't fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 CornynPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Democrats look to improve outreach to Asian and Latino communities MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (Utah) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHow President Biden can hit a home run Mellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line 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 DurbinDick DurbinMurkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Democrats ask FBI for plans to address domestic extremism following Capitol attack Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts 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 RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members 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.