Collins: Mueller 'must be allowed' to continue Russia probe

Collins: Mueller 'must be allowed' to continue Russia probe
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GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (Maine) on Wednesday warned the Trump administration against interfering with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's Russia investigation, saying he "must be allowed" to finish it. 

"It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation. I’m concerned Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates MORE will no longer be overseeing the probe," Collins said in a string of tweets. 
 
Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said that Mueller "must be allowed to complete his work without interference" regardless of who is the attorney general. 
Collins's remarks are among the first signs of concern from the Senate Republican Conference, which has largely met the news of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE's ouster earlier in the day with a collective shrug.
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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was put in charge of the investigation after Sessions recused himself last year. 
 
 
Collins's concerns were echoed by Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE (R-Utah), who also weighed in, saying it was "imperative" that Mueller be able to continue his probe. 
 
"I want to thank Jeff Sessions for his service to our country as Attorney General. Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded," he said in a tweet. 
Romney has gained attention both nationally and within the Senate GOP caucus as a someone who could push back against Trump once he comes to Washington next year.
 
Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.), two of the biggest Trump critics, are retiring at the end of the year, while Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Lindsey Graham: 'Graham wants to bring back 1950s McCarthyism' Meghan McCain knocks Lindsey Graham for defending Trump's tweets: 'This is not the person I used to know' MORE (R-Ariz.) died in August following a battle with brain cancer. 
 
Romney and Collins's pushback on Wednesday comes after Trump announced that he was ousting Sessions from the top Justice Department spot and that Whitaker, his chief of staff, will take over in an acting role including overseeing the Russia probe.
 
Whitaker's ascendence immediately set off alarm bells among congressional Democrats. He's previously criticized the Mueller investigation, including warning in a 2017 op-ed that Mueller was "dangerously close to crossing" a line if he looked into the Trump family's finances.