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Republicans and Democrats link up in bid to stop Trump lifting sanctions on Russia

By Samuel Osborne

Democrat and Republican leaders in the US Congress have agreed on legislation to punish Russia for election meddling.

The new legislation would effectively prevent Donald Trump from unilaterally lifting any sanctions on Moscow, which he previously said he needed to do for the sake of diplomacy between the two nations.

While the US President could veto the Bill, doing so would fuel suspicion he is too supportive of Vladimir Putin's federal republic.

The legislation, which will be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow, would allow new sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014, as well as its alleged meddling in the US election.

Although Moscow has denied any wrongdoing, US investigators are currently looking into whether there was any collusion between members of the Trump campaign and US officials.

On Saturday Mr Trump tweeted to say he had "complete power" to issue pardons.

He said: "While all agree the US President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS."

The Washington Post recently reported that Mr Trump had inquired about the authority he has as President to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the widening investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether any Trump associates were involved.

No crimes have been committed, Mr Trump maintains.

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