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GOP lawmakers say continuing Mueller probe 'is in the public's best interest'

ABC(NEW YORK) -- U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said Thursday on "The View" that he believes a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting special counsel Robert Mueller should "definitely pass."

Mueller is leading the probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Donald Trump "certainly believes he has the power" to fire Mueller.

Scott, a South Carolina Republican, said today that he believes there would be broad enough support in the House and Senate to pass the bill even without the president's approval, though, he said, he hoped such a measure wouldn't be necessary.

"The truth of the matter is, it is in the public's best interest for us to not only continue the investigation, but allow it to lead where it goes and then to finish the investigation," Scott said. "That's how we restore confidence for the American people in the government."

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, Scott's South Carolina colleague, appeared on "The View" Thursday with him.

The pair's friendship is the subject of their new book, "Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country," which was released last week. The book details how the two officials forged a friendship across racial lines.

Gowdy said today that he agrees the investigation should be allowed to continue.

A former federal prosecutor, he said he believes the raids on Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen must have had probable cause to be initiated. On Monday, FBI agents raided Cohen's office, hotel room and home.

The purpose of the raid remains unclear, but a source close to Cohen said the FBI seized documents related to the Stormy Daniels matter, as well as personal, financial and banking records dating back to 2013. They also seized his electronic devices, the source said.

According to sources familiar with the warrant, agents were hunting for records tied to possible deals with alleged mistresses, media organizations and the presidential campaign.

Sources told ABC News that, according to the warrant, which mentioned Trump by name, investigators also sought records related to a payment from AMI -- the media company that owns The National Enquirer -- to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed she had a 10-month affair with Trump from 2006 to 2007.

Gowdy to retire

Gowdy is retiring from his position as a representative. His retirement comes alongside the announcement of other high-profile Republican departures such as House Speaker Paul Ryan.

A Ryan supporter, Gowdy said he viewed Ryan's departure as a signal that the GOP is going through "something of an identity crisis."

"Paul was a free trader. Paul wrote road maps to reform, entitlement and things that our party's not talking about much right now," Gowdy said.

Politics, he said, had not been what he'd expected it to be.

"There's more civility in a death-penalty trial than there is in politics," he said.

Gowdy said he did, however, treasure the relationships he'd formed while serving, particularly his friendship with Scott.

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