The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday he is concerned about the thought of the White House issuing presidential pardons regarding the Russia probe.
During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' appearance in front of his panel last week.
"One of the things that also surprised me when we had the attorney general in front of us last week, I thought I gave him a softball question and I asked him, please just assure us that there's not at least been discussions in the White House about potential presidential pardons," Warner said.
"And instead of getting a straight-up answer saying, 'of course, we have not discussed that,' we again got a punt answer from the attorney general.
"So again, the idea that the president might fire [special counsel for the Russia investigation Robert] Mueller, might fire [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein, or might be discussing pardons is really all very troubling. But we don't know because this White House seems to give us a different answer every day."
Warner said he was surprised when President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last month, and was concerned over reports that suggested Trump might also fire Mueller and/or Rosenstein.
If that were to happen, Warner said "the Senate would then set up a separate independent inquiry because we just cannot allow this kind of action to go unaddressed."
Warner's committee, the Department of Justice, and other bodies are probing whether Trump and/or people close to him colluded with Russia last year. Also being investigated is whether Trump obstructed justice in firing Comey.
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