House Republicans seek impeachment of DOJ's Rosenstein

Sessions defends deputy Rosenstein after impeachment moveMore

Sessions defends deputy Rosenstein after impeachment moveMore

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he does not support an effort by a group of 11 conservative lawmakers to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official who oversees the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation.

"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".

Despite pulling the articles of impeachment, Republicans may still hold a vote as to whether Rosenstein is in contempt of Congress for withholding documents.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein looks likely to keep his job, though he will also likely continue to endure political attacks from supporters of President Trump. "I have the highest confidence in him".

The resolution on its own does not mean that the House is on the verge of voting to impeach the deputy attorney general, and conservative House members agreed Thursday morning to holding off on a vote to impeach Rosenstein until after the August recess. The Republicans in question have no quarrel with Trump on this matter, and if he wanted to, he could simply fire Rosenstein - which would be much easier than impeaching him. "No, I do not", Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters at his weekly news conference. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), along with nine co-sponsors, introduced the articles shortly after a meeting with DOJ officials concerning document production.

It is also expected to force key Republican leaders to choose sides after many of them have sought to distance themselves from the controversial President's moves to protect himself.

Democrats have telegraphed for months that any move by Trump to oust Sessions, Rosenstein or Mueller would trigger a constitutional crisis. 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.

The move comes after months of criticism aimed at the department - and the Russian Federation investigation in particular - from Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. Trump has fumed about Mueller's probe and repeatedly called it a "witch hunt", a refrain echoed by some of the lawmakers.

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Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Adam Schiff of California said Rosenstein "stands as one of the few restraints against the overreaches of the president and his allies in Congress".

House Rules Committee ultimately approved a nonbinding resolution demanding "full" Justice Department compliance with subpoenas issued for documents and information related to the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigation.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign was involved.

"The DOJ is keeping information from Congress", Jordan said.

"Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have repeatedly ignored Congressional requests and subpoenas, showing a complete disregard for Congressional oversight authority".

For his part, Mr. Rosenstein has thumbed his nose at the lawmakers.

Justice Department officials, briefing reporters Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the department has fully complied with two subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee and met nearly all demands in a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee. That includes four Trump campaign advisers.

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