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 NadlerHouse Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Omar apologizes after Dem leaders blast tweets as 'anti-Semitic' Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ 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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE is slated to speak with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinEx-federal prosecutor: I would have 'owned' wearing a wire to record Trump The embarrassing return of Andrew McCabe The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight 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 PelosiNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks 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.