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A prominent Republican senator warned President Donald Trump Thursday “there will be holy hell to pay” if he fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions and dared the commander-in-chief to “accept the consequences” if he made such a move.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the many GOP lawmakers furious over Trump’s escalating attacks on Sessions, let the president know in no uncertain terms that cutting the former Alabama senator loose from his Cabinet would be met with repercussions.
"There will be no confirmation hearing for a new attorney general in 2017. If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay," said Graham, who has been critical of Trump.
"This effort to basically marginalize and humiliate the attorney general is not going over well in the Senate," he added. "I don't think it's going over well in the conservative world."
"If you believe Jeff Sessions should be fired, use the power you have and accept the consequences," Graham warned.
Sessions, a loyal Trump supporter who was the first senator to endorse the then-candidate during the GOP primary, has found himself the target of unrelenting public attacks from the president over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.
Trump has thus far refused to fire Sessions, leading some to speculate he’s waiting until the August congressional recess, when he could name a replacement who would not require Senate confirmation.
Republican senators, who served with Sessions for years on Capitol Hill, have increasingly and publicly said they’re angry with Trump’s public attacks on his attorney general.
Many have called Sessions offering their support and encouragement as they can't understand why the president would treat one of his most loyal lieutenants in this way.
Graham, meanwhile, added Thursday that Sessions isn’t the only person he’s concerned Trump could fire. He revealed he was working on legislation with bipartisan support that would dictate "a special counsel cannot be fired when they were impaneled to investigate the president or his team unless you have judicial review of the firing."
If Trump "would fire (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller or have somebody fire Mueller because he doesn't like Mueller or Mueller is doing something" he opposes, "then we become Russia."
Going after Mueller "could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency," Graham said.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who is writing the bill with Graham, said Monday night on MSNBC, that the legislation would "make sure the president would only be able to fire a special prosecutor "for cause, and the judicial branch should have a say in whether there is legitimate cause or not."