House GOP members led by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (NC) have drawn up articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to Politico.
Conservative sources say they could file the impeachment document as soon as Monday, as Meadows and Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) look to build Republican support in the House. One source cautioned, however, that the timing was still fluid. –Politico
GOP legislators could also try to hold Rosenstein in contempt of Congress prior to actual impeachment.
The knives have been out for Rosenstein for weeks, as Congressional investigators have repeatedly accused the DOJ of “slow walking” documents related to their investigations. Frustrated lawmakers have been given the runaround – while Rosenstein and the rest of the DOJ are hiding behind the argument that the materials requested by various Congressional oversight committees would potentially compromise ongoing investigations.
In late June, Rosenstein along with FBI Director Christopher Wray clashed with House Republicans during a fiery hearing over an internal DOJ report criticizing the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation by special agents who harbored extreme animus towards Donald Trump while expressing support for Clinton. Republicans on the panel grilled a defiant Rosenstein on the Trump-Russia investigation which has yet to prove any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
“This country is being hurt by it. We are being divided,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said of Mueller’s investigation. “Whatever you got,” Gowdy added, “Finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.”
Rosenstein pushed back – dodging responsibility for decisions made by subordinates while claiming that Mueller was moving “as expeditiously as possible,” and insisting that he was “not trying to hide anything.”
“We are not in contempt of this Congress, and we are not going to be in contempt of this Congress,” Rosenstein told lawmakers.
Republicans, meanwhile, approved a resolution on the House floor demanding that the DOJ turn over thousands of requested documents by July 6. And while the DOJ did provide Congressional investigators with access to a trove of documents, House GOP said the document delivery was incomplete, according to Fox News.
That didn’t impress Congressional GOP.
“For over eight months, they have had the opportunity to choose transparency. But they’ve instead chosen to withhold information and impede any effort of Congress to conduct oversight,” said Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a sponsor of Thursday’s House resolution who raised the possibility of impeachment this week. “If Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have nothing to hide, they certainly haven’t acted like it.” –New York Times (6/28/18)
Rep. Meadows, meanwhile, fully admits that the document requests are related to efforts to quash the Mueller investigation.
“Yes, when we get these documents, we believe that it will do away with this whole fiasco of what they call the Russian Trump collusion because there wasn’t any,” Meadows said on the House floor.
Meanwhile, following a long day of grilling FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte blamed Rosenstein for hindering Strzok’s ability to reveal the details of his work.
“Rosenstein, who has oversight over the FBI and of the Mueller investigation is where the buck stops,” he said. “Congress has been blocked today from conducting its constitutional oversight duty.”
While Rosenstein’s appears to be close to the chopping block, whether or not he will actually be impeached is an entirely different matter.
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