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 HarrisSecond gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House Harris takes fresh start to 2022 We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called for the Senate to pass legislation that would protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE's Russia investigation, a move that comes amid news reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week 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 TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report 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 GillibrandDefense bill sets up next fight over military justice  Harry, Meghan push family leave with annual holiday card Overnight Energy & Environment — New York Democrats go after 'peaker' plants MORE (N.Y.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyFormer US attorney considering Senate run in Vermont as Republican The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sen. Kaine, drivers stranded in I-95 backup Senate delays vote as DC hit by snowstorm 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 RyanOn The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 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.