Senate Democrats brought Senate business to a halt on Wednesday when they invoked a Senate rule preventing committee hearings from lasting more than two hours after the body convenes in protest of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, according to the Washington Post.
According to Roll Call, the two-hour rule allows a minority party to restrict the duration committee meetings. Democrats invoked the rule in order to call on Republicans to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Although some Democrats have previously argued that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost her presidential bid because Comey notified Congress that he was re-opening the investigation into her use of a private email server just days before the election, some have now alleged that Trump fired Comey in order to impede the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election.
During remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “I hope the majority leader agrees with me that we need to get to the bottom of this … and get a handle on all of the facts so that we can grapple with them.
“I’d remind him and my Republican friends that nothing less is at stake than the American people’s faith in our criminal justice system, and the integrity of the executive branch of our government,” Schumer said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that he does not support appointing a special prosecutor.
Republicans voiced objections to bringing the upper chamber to a halt.
In a statement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), said he had been forced to cancel a hearing on law enforcement’s access to data “due to the Democrats obstructing normal business in the Senate.”
(H/T Market Watch)