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 HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called for the Senate to pass legislation that would protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's Russia investigation, a move that comes amid news reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony Feds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 GillibrandDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (N.Y.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrats grill USDA official on relocation plans that gut research staff Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens 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 RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller 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.