Trump allies move to impeach Rod Rosenstein

House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan escalated their fight with the Justice Department, introducing a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. CNN's Manu Raju reports.

Posted: Jul 26, 2018 3:18 PM
Updated: Jul 26, 2018 3:18 PM

House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan on Wednesday escalated their fight with the Justice Department, introducing a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The resolution is not a sign that the House is about to vote to impeach Rosenstein, as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy -- who have been pushing for documents from the Justice Department -- did not sign on. The House is also leaving for a monthlong recess after Thursday.

The resolution to impeach Rosenstein, which Meadows and his conservative allies have been threatening for weeks, is the strongest step that conservative allies of President Donald Trump have taken in their feud with Rosenstein and the Justice Department.

In a statement, Meadows said Rosenstein should be impeached because of the Justice Department's stonewalling of congressional subpoenas and hiding information from Congress, and for signing one of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant renewals for Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

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 impeachment resolution that Meadows introduced was not "privileged," which is a procedural motion that can force a House floor vote on the matter, a move that liberal Democrats have already taken against the President, though it was easily voted down.

A Meadows spokesman said the North Carolina Republican was leaving open the option of making the resolution privileged to force a vote. But such a move isn't likely to occur until after the House returns in September.

"Information has been hidden, efforts have been stonewalled," Meadows said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday night. "I guess for us, it's all about transparency so the American people can judge for themselves. They may be able to ignore Congress but they can't ignore the American people."

Later in the Fox News interview, Meadows hinted he may try to force a vote on the House floor about the articles of impeachment against Rosenstein as soon as Thursday. Meadows said he doesn't want to bring the motion to the floor without Ryan's permission but that it's possible it can happen.

"But starting tomorrow, we can bring it up as a privileged motion," he said.

He added, "It really means it would require a vote on the House floor within two days and that's something that any member of Congress, Jim or I, can do. And quite frankly, it's either we hold him in contempt or we get the documents or we impeach him, and the only thing we have control over is the ability to bring impeachment straight to the floor."

Rosenstein has been in the crosshairs of conservative Republicans -- as well as Trump -- for a number of reasons, including his role supervising special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

He has been faulted, in part, because of an accusation that the original FISA application on Page was based on "political opposition research (that) was neither vetted before it was used in October 2016 nor fully revealed" to the FISA court, according to the articles of impeachment. Yet Rosenstein was not sworn in as the No. 2 official at the Justice Department until six months later, in April 2017. He did sign off on at least one request to renew FISA warrant after taking office.

Democrats charge that Republicans are targeting Rosenstein because they're trying to undercut Mueller's probe.

The impeachment resolution was formally introduced after a meeting Wednesday between senior Justice Department officials and Goodlatte, Gowdy, Meadows and Jordan, which Rosenstein did not attend.

Leaving the meeting, Meadows said he still had "great frustration" that the Justice Department had not complied with congressional subpoenas, although he declined at that point to comment on the prospect of impeaching Rosenstein.

While Meadows then moved on the impeachment resolution, others had a more positive view of the meeting. Gowdy, who is opposed to trying to impeach Rosenstein, told reporters afterward that he thought the meeting had been productive "because we're making progress towards compliance."

"I want the documents and I'm not a big fan of drama, I like the documents," the South Carolina Republican said, explaining that he opposes impeachment because it's punishment and not a remedy to obtaining the documents in question.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The fight over documents between Congress and the Justice Department boils down to subpoenas from the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees for documents related to the FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into Trump's team and Russia.

Justice Department officials maintain that lawmakers have been provided with nearly all the documents requested by the House Judiciary subpoena from March and that they have been trying to accommodate incoming requests from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes.

The most substantial effort has surrounded roughly 880,000 pages of documents related to the Justice Department inspector general's investigation into how the FBI handled the Clinton probe. Committee staff have been able to review the documents in a reading room at the Justice Department and then obtain copies of documents of interest -- a laborious process being overseen by US Attorney John Lausch from Chicago.

In June, FBI Director Chris Wray testified that 100 FBI employees have been working around the clock to respond to lawmakers' requests.

But Republican lawmakers maintain that while the Justice Department is turning over more materials, it has yet to fully comply with the subpoenas. The House passed a resolution last month demanding full compliance with the subpoenas.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 766351

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1052671804
Lake568691028
Allen42858698
St. Joseph37286568
Hamilton37260426
Elkhart29729470
Tippecanoe23441230
Vanderburgh23153404
Porter19568327
Johnson18807391
Hendricks18059321
Madison13518345
Clark13502198
Vigo12817255
LaPorte12558224
Monroe12529178
Delaware11124198
Howard10654237
Kosciusko9751123
Hancock8734149
Bartholomew8256157
Warrick8053157
Floyd8005181
Grant7349181
Wayne7234201
Boone7173105
Morgan6904142
Marshall6329116
Dubois6270118
Cass6085111
Dearborn600078
Noble597890
Henry5944111
Jackson515677
Shelby509897
Lawrence4914127
Gibson461596
Montgomery457592
Clinton454555
DeKalb453685
Harrison452476
Whitley415345
Huntington414081
Steuben410260
Miami405073
Jasper400455
Knox388091
Putnam384662
Wabash368783
Adams352256
Ripley351071
Jefferson341586
White339354
Daviess3089100
Wells302781
Greene292985
Decatur291693
Fayette285864
Posey280935
Scott278758
LaGrange277172
Clay273148
Washington253537
Randolph247583
Jennings238649
Spencer237931
Fountain234850
Starke229959
Owen222259
Sullivan219543
Fulton207845
Jay202832
Carroll197122
Orange190956
Perry189739
Vermillion180044
Rush177327
Tipton172347
Franklin171935
Parke154816
Pike141434
Blackford137832
Pulaski123648
Newton123036
Benton109615
Brown105943
Crawford105516
Martin92515
Warren87715
Switzerland8328
Union73510
Ohio58311
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1122647

Reported Deaths: 20467
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1302911493
Cuyahoga1171502259
Hamilton823481259
Montgomery534491059
Summit488581014
Lucas43734832
Butler39936614
Stark33800937
Lorain25996509
Warren24896312
Mahoning22685612
Lake21457396
Clermont20368260
Delaware19120138
Licking16842227
Trumbull16786491
Fairfield16762207
Medina15832276
Greene15499254
Clark14339308
Portage13417218
Wood13338201
Allen12043245
Richland11726213
Miami10998228
Wayne9251227
Columbiana9196236
Muskingum9119137
Pickaway8738123
Tuscarawas8714254
Marion8703140
Erie8126166
Ashtabula7272179
Hancock7044134
Ross7012165
Geauga6948153
Scioto6679108
Belmont6210179
Lawrence5917104
Union590449
Jefferson5723162
Huron5630122
Sandusky5482130
Darke5436130
Seneca5376128
Washington5362111
Athens526560
Auglaize507087
Mercer490685
Shelby481297
Knox4609112
Madison447266
Ashland443198
Defiance438499
Fulton435775
Putnam4351104
Crawford4110111
Brown409662
Preble3946107
Logan391679
Clinton389266
Ottawa375581
Highland365068
Williams356478
Champaign348360
Guernsey330254
Jackson321254
Perry298350
Morrow294643
Fayette288250
Hardin279165
Henry276967
Coshocton272561
Holmes2725102
Van Wert251665
Adams249258
Gallia249250
Pike244637
Wyandot235257
Hocking222663
Carroll201249
Paulding179442
Meigs151040
Noble137739
Monroe137545
Harrison115238
Morgan111524
Vinton87217
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
It's a steamy Wednesday with scattered showers and thunderstorms arriving Wednesday night.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events