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Lawmakers Lining Up To Make Sure Trump Doesn't Fire Special Counsel

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) - Whether or not President Donald Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a question that's consuming Washington.

The president alluded to the possibility after the FBI raided the home and offices of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Now some lawmakers are lining up to make sure getting rid of Mueller isn't even an option.

Early Wednesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to express his frustration with the Mueller probe.

At a White House meeting on Monday, the president discussed the possibility of firing Mueller in the wake of FBI raids targeting his personal attorney. During a press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked if the president has the authority to do that.

"We've been advised that certainly the president has the power to make that decision. I can't go into anything beyond that," she said.

By law, a Special Counsel can only be removed by the Attorney General but Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation last March, leaving Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein as the only one who could dismiss Mueller.

There is no question as to the president's authority to fire Sessions or Rosenstein - both of whom have drawn the president's ire over the investigation.

Democrats have expressed alarm at the idea that Trump may try to fire or have Mueller fired.

"It would be a Constitutional catastrophe," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT.

Most GOP leaders have said they didn't think the Special Counsel's job was in jeopardy.

"I have no reason to believe that that's going to happen. I have assurances that it's not," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, shortly after announcing that he would not run for re-election.

"I haven't seen clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed, because I don't think that's going to happen," said Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

"I'm confident that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency and he's not going to do that," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.

Two bills aimed at protecting Mueller were introduced in the Senate last year but were never voted on.

A bipartisan group of senators will introduce a bill that grants judicial review of any Special Counsel's dismissal.


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