GOP lawmakers file resolution to impeach Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein
by Caitlin Yilek & Kelly Cohen
Republican lawmakers laid the groundwork for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday, accusing the second ranking Justice Department official who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller of obstruction by defying congressional subpoenas.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., announced Wednesday night that he had filed a resolution alongside Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, — the two are the chairmen of the House Freedom Caucus — and nine other colleagues to impeach Rosenstein.
A Justice Department spokesperson declined to confirm to the Washington Examiner on the situation
In a press release, Meadows and Jordan accused the Justice Department of withholding “embarrassing documents and information.”
“The stonewalling over this last year has been just as bad or worse than under the Obama administration. Multiple times we’ve caught DOJ officials hiding information from Congress, withholding relevant documents, or even outright ignoring Congressional subpoenas,” Meadows wrote.
Jordan added: “The DOJ is keeping information from Congress. Enough is enough. It’s time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress’s constitutional oversight role.”
The resolution comes even as the Justice Department told Meadows and other GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday that it had nearly complied with what an official characterized as a historically large demand for documents.
House Intelligence and Judiciary Committee leaders were already told earlier this month by a top official that the Justice Department had “substantially complied with” sizable documents requests from the two panels.
Ahead of the Wednesday afternoon meeting, Justice Department officials told reporters that two subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee have been fully complied with. The first subpoena came in eight parts, and pertained to warrant applications and court documents related to the surveillance of Carter Page, in addition to the FBI’s relationship with Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
The second House Intelligence subpoena was about a specific individual, which was later dubbed “spy-gate” by the president. That request was fulfilled through multiple briefings, the officials explained.
Almost all demands from a House Judiciary Committee subpoena have been fulfilled with oversight from U.S. Attorney John Lausch of Illinois, the officials said.
The document demands include the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to the Trump campaign, in addition to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. More than 880,000 pages of documents have been made available to the House Judiciary Committee through that subpoena, the Justice Department said.
It is unclear what teeth the resolution has — the House goes on a five-week recess Thursday, and is in session for less than three weeks total leading up to Election Day 2018.
Democrats have accused Republicans of going at Rosenstein to chip away at Mueller’s investigation, which he took over in May 2017. Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.