Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on Thursday came out against the conservative effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) No. 2 official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein?” he asked during a press briefing. “No, I do not.”
“I don’t think we should be cavalier with this process or this term [impeachment],” he said. “I don’t think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
A group of 11 conservative House Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, accusing him of refusing to comply with “oversight requests” by GOP lawmakers.
The 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.
"Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, putting him at odds with hard-liners in his party and even some in his own leadership team https://t.co/5yf7J6FHlP pic.twitter.com/ePp0i3Laes
— POLITICO (@politico) July 26, 2018
The Hill added:
Ryan has not signed on in support of the resolution, but Meadows said it would not require his consent.
Other top GOP lawmakers have voiced concerns about the push to impeach Rosenstein.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) last week ruled out the possibility of impeaching Rosenstein, saying there is not enough support for his ouster, while Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Thursday came out in opposition, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that he would vote against any effort to impeach Rosenstein.