WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., warned President Donald Trump against firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller from his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"Any attempt by this president to remove Special Counsel Mueller from his position, or to pardon key witnesses to shield them from any accountability, or shut down the investigation, would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of executive branch responsibilities and authorities," he said during a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night.
Critics of the investigation argue that Mueller's probe is tainted after discovering text messages from top FBI officials revealing their anti-Trump bias during the 2016 election. Trump transition lawyers also accused Mueller's team of getting unauthorized access to thousands of transition emails.
However, Warner defended the investigation's credibility.
"The charges that have been made that somehow Democratic political bias crept into this investigation are baseless," Warner said.
President Trump has publicly said he will not dismiss Mueller from the investigation despite the surrounding controversy.
The news comes as the Senate Intelligence Committee is requesting documents from Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as part of its probe.
Although the main focus of the investigation has been on Russian interference and whether it was at all linked to then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, multiple leads are under consideration.
While Warner, the top Democrat on the panel, has remained mum on the matter, he did make note of Stein's presence at the "infamous dinner" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I will point out though that Ms. Stein was at the infamous dinner that included General Flynn and Vladimir Putin, and we do know that she has very complimentary things to say about Julian Assange, who certainly was being used by the Russians to take some of the hacked information and release it into our political system," he said.
WATCH SEN. WARNER'S SPEECH LIVE ON THE SENTATE FLOOR BELOW: