A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent the Justice Department from prosecuting President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice over the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
The bipartisan legislation from Sens.
Joe Manchin, D-W.
Va., and Mark Warner, D -Va., also would require the attorney general to provide congressional leaders with the Justice department’s legal opinion justifying Comey’s firing.
Democrats say the legislation is a compromise between the Trump administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress, which are demanding that Comey testify under oath about his decision to fire Comey.
But Republicans argue that the bill is just as problematic as the House GOP’s bill, which they say could create a constitutional crisis and lead to impeachment proceedings against the president.
In the Senate, Sens.
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D and a bipartisan group called the Protect Our Democracy coalition have introduced a similar bill to block Trump from impeaching the president, and they also are pushing for a House resolution to end the Justice Dept. investigation into Trump’s possible obstruction of the Russia probe.
The House Republican leadership has repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the firing, saying it has been a “distraction” from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and other issues.
Sen. Bob Corker, R -Tenn., has been one of the most vocal Democrats pushing for the impeachment of Trump.
But he has been blocked by the House, which is not expected to take up the bill.
Corker and Warner are the only Democrats who voted against the House bill.
Senators have also introduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate to ensure that Trump cannot be charged with obstruction of a federal investigation, the same bill that led to the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.
Sen John McCain, R of Arizona, also voted against that bill, as did Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen Dianne Feinstein, D of California, has also called for the creation of an independent special prosecutor, which was approved by the Senate in December and signed by Trump.
Feinstein and other Democrats have been calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor for months, and Trump has repeatedly said he will not fire Comey and has not called for one.