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House Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller

House Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller
© ABC News screenshot

Democratic Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenDem lawmaker says GOP Rep. Boebert gave 'large' group tour days ahead of Capitol attack Inauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump MORE (Tenn.) moved on Wednesday to force a House vote to protect the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as uncertainty looms over whether Trump may fire Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE

Cohen's petition asks for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRevising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices Paul Ryan will attend Biden's inauguration COVID-19 relief bill: A promising first act for immigration reform MORE (R-Wis.) to call a vote on a bill, called the Special Counsel Integrity Act, preventing the firing of Mueller without just cause.

Cohen, a member of the House Ethics Committee, pointed to recent indicators that Trump may again be seeking to oust Mueller, after a previous attempt was thwarted by the president's legal team. 

"Recent events particularly concern me because it seems the President fears that Mueller is close to revealing findings relevant to his mandate and that ending the investigation is the only way to prevent its public release," he said in a statement Wednesday. 

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Cohen was one of several Democratic lawmakers who introduced articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE last year.

Cohen's move to vote on the bill protecting Mueller comes after  FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeCarter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to know about the Pfizer vaccine announcement MORE was fired last week by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds MORE.

President Trump praised the decision, and John Dowd, an attorney for Trump, called for the deputy attorney general to "bring an end" to the Russia probe shortly after McCabe's firing.

Numerous lawmakers in both parties have warned Trump and his administration not to fire the special counsel over concerns of sparking an ethics crisis, including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyTrey GowdyThe Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election Sunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears MORE (R-S.C.), who told Dowd that if he has an innocent client he should "act like it." 

"The president maintains there was no collusion or obstruction of justice. Let's let Mueller finish his job and find out," Cohen added.