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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 HarrisOn The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit Booker holds 'Get Out the Vote' event in South Carolina as presidential speculation builds Harris rolls out bill to create new middle class tax credit MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called for the Senate to pass legislation that would protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation, a move that comes amid news reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinRosenstein to appear for House interview next week Former FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Meadows calls on Rosenstein to resign 'immediately' 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 TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US 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 Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (N.Y.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen 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 RyanThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns 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.