Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal

Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Gun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called for the Senate to pass legislation that would protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE's Russia investigation, a move that comes amid news reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE expects to be fired.

"The Senate must pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller TODAY," Harris wrote on Twitter.

"Republican leaders must allow it to be voted on. We can no longer afford to wait. This is a matter of preserving the rule of law," she added.

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Multiple news outlets reported Monday morning that Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's Russia probe, was preparing for his departure as the second-ranking official within the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Axios reported Monday that Rosenstein had verbally offered his resignation to chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE. The reported move came just days after The New York Times published an article saying Rosenstein in 2017 proposed surreptitiously recording President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE, and that he discussed with DOJ colleagues the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

NBC News on Monday reported that Rosenstein is refusing to resign and that he intends to force Trump to fire him if the president wants him out.

Harris's call for legislative action was echoed by other Democrats, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions Klobuchar, Buttigieg find themselves accidentally flying to debate together MORE (N.Y.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine On The Money: Trump delays increase in China tariffs until Oct. 15 | Treasury says US deficit topped trillion in 11 months | Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections MORE (Vt.).

"It is more urgent than ever that the Senate pass S.2644, the bipartisan bill to protect the independence of the Special Counsel," Leahy said on Twitter. "If we do not defend the rule of law in these moments, we risk losing it."

Democrats have repeatedly called for action on legislation that would protect Mueller's probe.

In April, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE (R-Wis.) said he didn't think such legislation was "necessary."

Noel Francisco, the solicitor general, would be in charge of overseeing Mueller's investigation if Rosenstein resigns or is fired.