In first bipartisan attempt to keep president in check amid Russia inquiry, two bills would take steps to prevent president from directly firing special counsel

US senators from both parties are seeking to protect the special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by Donald Trump, marking the first bipartisan bid by lawmakers to impose a check on the president against the backdrop of the Russia investigation.

A pair of bills were unveiled on Thursday, co-sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, that would take measures to bar the president from directly firing the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election and any involvement by the president and his team.

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