According to CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions jumped to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s defense on Thursday amid threats that Rosenstein might be impeached. On Wednesday, House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein due to his oversight of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
After being asked about the proposed impeachment during a news conference in Boston, Sessions reassured reporters of his confidence in his deputy attorney general. “My deputy Rod Rosenstein is highly capable,” Sessions said. “I have the highest confidence in him.”
Sessions urged Congress on Thursday to focus their attention on more pressing and important issues.
“What I would like Congress to do is to focus on some of the legal challenges that are out there,” Sessions said. “We need Congress to deal with the immigration question.”
U.S. Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan were the first House Republicans to introduce the resolution to impeach Rosenstein on Wednesday. The resolution, however, has been put on hold for now until August.
Rosenstein’s predecessor, Sally Yates, condemned Meadows’ and Jordan’s resolution to impeach the deputy, tweeting that the motion is “absurd” and will “undoubtedly fail.”
Yates added that the Department of Justice was being used “as a prop for political theater,” which could very well cause serious harm to the nation’s democracy, claiming that the “men and women of DOJ and the people of our country deserve better.”
Meadows, however, claims that Rosenstein should be impeached because the Department of Justice had allegedly not complied with subpoenas issued by Congress and hid important information.
Meadows also alleges that Rosenstein had signed the initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application on Carter Page “based on ‘political opposition research (that) was neither vetted before it was used in October 2016 nor fully revealed.'” Rosenstein, however, was not sworn in as deputy attorney general until six months after the FISA application was signed.
Appearing on Fox News the day before, Meadows proposed introducing the impeachment resolution as a privileged motion so he could essentially force a quick vote. During the interview, Meadows added, “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.”
The resolution, however, was not introduced as privileged, and has since been put on hold.