More than ten conservative House Republicans on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the DOJ’s No. 2 official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, accusing him of refusing to comply with “oversight requests” by GOP lawmakers.
“For 9 months we’ve warned them consequences were coming, and for 9 months we’ve heard the same excuses backed up by the same unacceptable conduct. Time is up and the consequences are here. It’s time to find a new Deputy Attorney General who is serious about accountability and transparency,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a statement.
“Multiple times we’ve caught DOJ officials hiding information from Congress, withholding relevant documents, or even outright ignoring Congressional subpoenas—and now we have evidence that Mr. Rosenstein signed off on a document using unverified political opposition research as a cornerstone of a FISA application to spy on an American citizen working for the Trump campaign,” Meadows continued.
Republicans made multiple allegations against Rosenstein, charging that he has a conflict of interest in the Russia investigation because he is a “witness” that could be called in the ongoing probe into potential abuse since he approved an FBI surveillance renewal application to wiretap former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
“As such, his conduct in authorizing the FISA surveillance at issue in the joint congressional investigation makes him a fact witness central to the ongoing investigation of potential FISA abuse,” read the articles of impeachment. “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. Wherefore, Rod Rosenstein, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.”
Republicans also allege that Rosenstein has “repeatedly failed to produce documents” requested by members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
They allege that he has also “attempted to conceal certain facts” by overly redacting documents they requested.
The Hill added:
The Justice Department declined to comment on the articles of impeachment, but hours before they were introduced, DOJ officials told a far different story.
Shortly before the 4 p.m. meeting between the DOJ officials and House lawmakers took place, Justice Department officials on Wednesday described in detail the steps they are taking to complete the outstanding document requests as requested by the heads of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
Republicans say the FBI and DOJ have not provided all the documents they are seeking to review as part of the GOP-led investigations into the email server Hillary Clinton used while she was serving as secretary of State, as well as the FBI’s decision to launch the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The DOJ officials said Wednesday that they have largely completed Congress’s document requests, noting they are fully cooperating with the lawmakers and their staff to give them the information they still want to review.
The DOJ has so far given lawmakers access to 880,000 pages they’ve requested, and they continue to accept requests for new information related to House GOP probes, the DOJ officials said.
The officials pointed to three congressional subpoenas issued by House Republicans, that they say have either been completely fulfilled or that they are close to fulfilling.
One DOJ official noted that while the requests are historically high, they are working to respond to the lawmaker’s records requests — and much of the responding is done quietly.