Democrats' efforts to protect Mueller fail on the floor

Democrats' efforts to protect Mueller fail on the floor
© Anna Moneymaker

House Democrats' efforts to force a vote on a measure that would protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE was defeated on the floor Thursday. 

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGOP rep says Dems will impeach Trump Mueller filings threaten Trump but fall short of case for impeachment Sunday shows preview: Trade talks, Cohen sentencing memo take center stage MORE (D-N.Y.).

Democrats blasted the closed-rule process before attempting to file a motion to sidestep Republicans and bring the bill to the floor. 

The legislation comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE is slated to speak with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein10 pieces of evidence against most diabolical Russian spy ever No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power Mueller’s real challenge MORE amidst rumors he will step down or be fired — a move Democrats feel could hinder Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.

Rosenstein’s fate remains unclear following reports he discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and secretly recording Trump with administration officials.

Rosenstein denies the allegations. 

Conservatives have called for the deputy attorney general to testify under oath before the House Judiciary Committee and haven’t ruled out filing a privileged resolution forcing a vote on impeachment.

"President Trump and House Republicans’ recent efforts to ratchet up their campaign to undermine, interfere with and obstruct Mueller’s investigation warrant immediate action from Congress to protect the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal," House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate McConnell predicts no shutdown: Trump 'flexible' on border deal Ocasio-Cortez had highest percentage of small donors in midterms: report MORE’s (D-Calif.) office said in an announcement of their intention to file the motion. 

"President Trump has fired nearly every high-ranking official charged with investigating the Trump-Russia scandal. Now it appears that Rosenstein could be next – and it could happen as soon as today.  President Trump knows that the walls are closing around him." 

The measure would have codified the DOJ’s regulations on firing the special counsel, requiring the reasoning to be put in writing. It also would have provided a 10-day period in which a review of their removal could be reviewed. Under the legislation, all staff and materials would also be preserved while the investigation remained open.