‘Walking wounded’: Senate panel clears ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ bill

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday cleared legislation that would block President Donald Trump’s attorney general from using his authority to investigate potential collusion between his campaign and Russia.

The legislation would also give Attorney General Jeff Sessions wide latitude in deciding whether to bring criminal charges against Trump.

Sens.

Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chris Coons, D-Del., were joined by Sens.

Bill Cassidy, R, and Cory Gardner, R. The measure passed along party lines.

“This is a bill to ensure that the American people have the information that they need to make an informed decision about whether they wish to hold President Trump accountable for the grave violations of our democracy that he has engaged in and continued to engage in,” Graham said in a statement.

The bill would also block the Justice Department from bringing criminal charges.

It was approved in a 67-28 vote along party line.

Trump’s team has repeatedly suggested that Sessions and his aides were acting as agents of Russia, with Trump himself recently calling the Justice department’s Russia investigation a “witch hunt.”

In response to the legislation, Graham called on the Senate to “follow the law” and “not let politics take over the investigation.”

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have been pushing for an investigation of the Trump campaign, which was hit with a federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s associates and Russia, and Sessions has repeatedly defended Trump’s ties to Russia.

Republicans also plan to hold a hearing on Trump’s links to Russia on Wednesday.

Democrats, meanwhile, have said they are prepared to subpoena records related to a Russian investment fund that Trump and his associates have held with the Kremlin, a move that could complicate the Justice investigation.

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