Conservative lawmakers move to impeach Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Russia probe

The Time Has Come House Republicans Move To Impeach Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein

A group of conservative House members, spearheaded by Meadows, drafted impeachment papers against Rosenstein in April, calling it "a last-resort option if the Department of Justice fails to respond" to congressional requests for documents pertaining to the Russian Federation investigation and another federal inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), along with 9 cosponsors, introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein shortly after a meeting with Justice Department officials concerning document production.

Meadows said under Rosenstein's direction "the agency has made every effort to obstruct legitimate attempts of Congressional oversight".

In a statement, Meadows said Rosenstein's conduct is "reprehensible".

"But the bottom line is, we have sent numerous letters to Rod Rosenstein they haven't complied with, two subpoenas they haven't complied with, we've caught the Department of Justice hiding information, redacting information that they should not have redacted", Jordan said.

But they do not force an immediate vote on impeachment - which would have proven controversial, as many Republican lawmakers have not supported calls for Rosenstein's impeachment.

Rosenstein has fiercely pushed back against his House Republican critics, warning in May that the Justice Department is "not going to be extorted" amid threats that he could be impeached.

Republican leaders in the House, including Speaker Paul Ryan, have been clear that they don't wish to impede the Mueller investigation.

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The Department of Justice, under the supervision of Mr. Rosenstien, redacted FBI Agent Peter Strzok's personal relationship with FISC Judge Rudolph Contreras.

Democrats have argued the focus on Rosenstein is an attempt to broadly undermine the Mueller investigation.

They claim the grounds for impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein is his alleged stonewalling of their document requests into investigations into Justice investigations of Hillary Clinton and President Trump. "But starting tomorrow, we can bring it up as a privileged motion", Meadows noted, which "really means that it would require a vote on the House floor within two days".

Rosenstein bristled when Jordan, the Ohio Republican, asked him why he was "keeping information from Congress".

"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".

Wednesday's resolution had nine cosponsors, though notably not conservative House leadership such as Trey Gowdy, chair of the Oversight Committee, and Bob Goodlatte, chair of the Judiciary Committee. The Justice Department essentially says it's trying to comply, but that these Republicans want a lot, and it takes times.

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