House Dems hold emergency conference call on Sessions ouster

House Dems hold emergency conference call on Sessions ouster
© Greg Nash

House Democrats will hold an emergency conference call on Thursday to discuss President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE’s decision to fire Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

The call, organized by Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy President Trump needs to speak out on Hong Kong Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-Calif.) and first reported by Politico, is seen as the beginning of Democratic scrutiny of Trump’s controversial move as they prepare to assume control of the chamber in January.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, will brief the Democratic conference on the state of play and outline the potential ramifications of Sessions's dismissal, according to a Democratic congressional source.

Briefings are also expected from Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCan the Democrats unseat Trump? Democrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees MORE (Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Schiff offers bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Democratic leaders want to ensure that lawmakers are all on the same page as they figure out how to proceed.

Democrats have been demanding answers about Sessions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sessions's replacement, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

They want to know how the shakeup at the highest level of the Justice Department will impact special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

In a letter to Whitaker, Democrats warned that a "constitutional crisis" could ensue if the Mueller probe is not protected, urging the new top cop to recuse himself and place Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein back in the supervisory role for the probe.

“There is little doubt that President Trump’s decision to force the firing of Attorney General Sessions places Special Counsel Mueller’s inquiry at grave risk,” Democrats wrote.

The lawmakers asked Whitaker to confirm who is supervising the investigation, while also "strongly" suggesting that Rosenstein should continue oversight of the probe.

They argued it would be "inappropriate" for Whitaker to oversee the investigation given his public comments about his views toward the Mueller investigation. Whitaker has said Rosenstein should limit the "scope" of the investigation, writing in a CNN op-ed last year that the probe has gone "too far."

Olivia Beavers contributed.