WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats decided to slow down business in the upper chamber to protest the Trump administration’s rejection of an independent prosecutor for the Russia investigation.
Senate committee meetings ended by noon Wednesday when Democrats put forth the two-hour rule. This precludes committee hearings from going over two hours after the Senate convenes.
“I can’t say it’s an ongoing strategy,” Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters of the move. “It certainly is for the day.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the Democrats’ call for a special prosecutor, saying on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, “Our Democratic colleagues complaining about the removal of an FBI Director whom they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized, by a man, Rod Rosenstein, whom they repeatedly and effusively praised — when Mr. Rosenstein recommended Mr. Comey’s removal for many of the very reasons they have complained about.”
“If the original decision to fire Comey originated with the White House then this begins to look like the Saturday Night Massacre. It begins to look like Watergate and it begins to look like obstruction of an ongoing investigation,” Democratic Delaware Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told reporters. “If on the other hand, it originated with Rosenstein getting sick of all the often characterized misbehavior of Comey, then that’s a different story. We need to get that original question answered before we can go much further.”
Other options to slow down business in the Senate Democrats could do is reject any consideration of any bill or nominees waiting to be confirmed until Trump concedes and tells Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor.
Such a move could leave open 120 federal judge vacancies and 94 U.S. Attorneys posts.