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Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A growing number of Democrats are lambasting Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to fire Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Friday.

The big picture: This was compounded by President Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, urging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to shut down Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

What they're saying:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): "Jeff Sessions needs to testify immediately before the Judiciary Committee to answer questions on the firing of Andrew McCabe. He must explain the DOJ’s process and whether this is an attempt to target, punish or silence those investigating Russia and the Trump campaign."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.): "In the absence of the IG report, it’s impossible to evaluate the merits of this harsh treatment of a 21-year FBI professional. That it comes after the President urged the DOJ to deprive McCabe of his pension, and after his testimony, gives the action an odious taint."

  • Another tweet: "The President, through his lawyer, called on DOJ to end Mueller probe. Obstruction of justice is no less a threat to our democracy when done in the open than behind closed doors. Every representative should condemn this flagrant abuse of power or stop pretending devotion to duty. "

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a series of tweets: "McCabe firing is an undisguised attack on Special Counsel investigation - attempting to undermine him as a witness. Added evidence of obstruction of justice.

  • McCabe firing - a shot at Special Counsel - makes legislation protecting the investigation more vital than ever. Investigation putting Oval Office under siege - raising specter of more firings.
  • Firing McCabe - a possible witness to obstruction - exemplifies Pres. Trump’s total contempt for the rule of law. He will stop at nothing to undermine the Mueller investigation.
  • Firing McCabe threatens professional law enforcement with blatant political interference - a disservice to dedicated men and women of FBI and other agencies.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): "Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now."

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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