Conservatives are looking for any way possible to put a halt to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, and as the investigation continues, efforts by some GOP lawmakers to discredit the Department of Justice are escalating. They especially have their eyes on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
On Wednesday, eleven House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. Rosenstein oversees Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
According to NBC:
‘House Republicans have criticized Rosenstein for not being responsive enough as they have requested documents related to the Russia investigation as well as a closed investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails.’
It is unknown as to whether there will be an immediate vote. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who have been frequent critics of the DOJ, introduced the articles. House Speaker Paul Ryan has not signed on to the effort.
According to CBS News:
‘The lawmakers did not file the articles as a “privileged resolution,” a move that would have forced Republican leadership to consider the measure within two legislative days. Meadows and Jordan could still force the issue on Thursday before lawmakers head home for the House’s month-long August recess. Such a move would mean leaders would have to bring a vote to table the measure, or cancel or delay the recess.’
Meadows who is the head of the House Freedom Caucus, said in a statement:
‘With Attorney General Sessions’ recusal, Rod Rosenstein has been in charge of the Department of Justice as the agency has made every effort to obstruct legitimate attempts of congressional oversight.’
‘(It’s) time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency.’
Rep. Jordan said:
‘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 other Republicans who signed on to the articles of impeachment are Representatives Andy Biggs (AZ), Scott Perry (PA), Paul Gossar (AZ), Jody Hice (GA), Matt Gaetz (FL), and Scott DesJarlais (TN).
Included in the articles are a series of allegations against Rosenstein. They charge that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller’s probe. The conflict surrounds the fact that he signed off on a FBI surveillance renewal application to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, making him a “witness” that could be called in the ongoing investigation.
The Articles of Impeachment read:
‘As such, his conduct in authorizing the FISA surveillance at issue in the joint congressional investigation makes him a fact witness central to the ongoing investigation of potential FISA abuse. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s failure to recuse himself in light of this inherent conflict of interest and failure to recommend the appointment of a second Special Counsel constitute dereliction of duty. Wherefore, Rod Rosenstein, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.’
‘Multiple times we’ve caught DOJ officials hiding information from Congress, withholding relevant documents, or even outright ignoring Congressional subpoenas — and now we have evidence that Mr. Rosenstein signed off on a document using unverified political opposition research as a cornerstone of a FISA application to spy on an American citizen working for the Trump campaign.’
In addition, they have alleged that Rosenstein has ‘repeatedly failed to produce documents’ requested by the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Republicans say the FBI and DOJ have not produced all of the documents they are seeking to review.
These documents concern the GOP-led investigations into the email server Hillary Clinton used while she was serving as secretary of State, and documents related to the FBI’s decision to launch the federal investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
However, DOJ officials said on Wednesday that they have mostly completed Congress’ document requests and are working with lawmakers to provide them with the information they still want to review.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
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