Deputy General Rod Rosenstein called on Americans to be united in the wake of DOJ indicting 12 Russian intelligence officials for meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, but conservative lawmakers are preparing to impeach the Deputy Attorney General, according to Politico.
In fact, according to three Republican Capitol Hill sources, conservative lawmakers in the House had the impeachment document on the floor at the very moment Rosenstein announced the indictments in front of TV cameras on Friday. The report claims that Republican lawmakers have been wanting to impeach the Deputy AG for weeks, accusing him of having held up their probe into FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, whom they believe have been biased against Donald Trump.
Sources told the publication that the impeachment filing against Rosenstein could be filed as soon as Monday, with House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan leading the effort.
It is not clear how much support the House Republicans would be able to gain for their impeachment effort, but top GOP lawmakers have repeatedly gone after Rosenstein in the past, accusing him of not furnishing them with significant documents necessary for Congress’ oversight into whether Strzok and Page were biased against Trump in the Russia probe.
House Judiciary Committee on Thursday grilled FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, with chairman Bob Goodlatte insisting that Rod Rosenstein was responsible for stonewalling Congress’ investigation, despite the Deputy Attorney General having made clear in the past that a number of documents demanded by Republicans are sensitive files as part of the ongoing Mueller investigation.
“Rosenstein, who has oversight over the FBI and of the Mueller investigation is where the buck stops,” Goodlatte said. “Congress has been blocked today from conducting its constitutional oversight duty.”
But Rosenstein seems unperturbed by the Republican effort to undermine him, cautioning against those “who speculate about federal investigations” but don’t know the “relevant facts.”
“I want to caution you, the people who speculate about federal investigations usually do not know all of the relevant facts. We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings. Most anonymous leaks are not from the government officials who are actually conducting these investigations.
We follow the rule of law, which means that we follow procedures, and we reserve judgment. We complete our investigations, and we evaluate all of the relevant evidence before we reach any conclusion. That is how the American people expect their Department of Justice to operate, and that is how our department is going to operate.”
You can check out the rest of Rosenstein’s statement, during which he called on Americans to be cautious against partisan dithering and future election interference, here.
Although it seems unlikely that the Republican effort to impeach Rosenstein will get the steam it needs in the coming days, but in case House Republicans are able to build support for it, the political drama surrounding the Russia investigation, which Donald Trump has called a “witch hunt” as late as Friday, will get exacerbated in ways we may not be able to foresee.