11 Republicans move to impeach deputy attorney general

A group of 11 U.S. House Republicans has introduced articles of impeachment against deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The Republicans who introduced the resolution have criticized Rosenstein for not being responsive enough as they have requested documents related to the Russia investigation and a closed investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. It is unclear whether there will be enough support in the party to pass it, as Republican leaders have not signed on to the effort.

The articles were introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan, frequent critics of the Justice Department.

“The DOJ is keeping information from Congress,” Jordan said, referring to the Department of Justice. “Enough is enough. It’s time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress’s constitutional oversight role.”

A Justice Department official said the agency had no comment.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee, said on Twitter the articles of impeachment “were filed in bad faith and show extraordinary lengths to which House Republicans will go to protect Trump.”

The House is scheduled to leave on Thursday on a recess that extends until the first week of September.

The introduction does not trigger an immediate vote, but Meadows and Jordan could make procedural moves on the House floor that could force a vote late this week or when the House returns from its upcoming five-week recess in September. The House is scheduled to leave for that recess Thursday.

The five articles charge Rosenstein of “high crimes and misdemeanours” for failing to produce information to the committees, even though the department has already provided lawmakers with more than 800,000 documents, and of signing off on what some Republicans say was improper surveillance of a Trump adviser.

The resolution also goes directly after Rosenstein for his role in the ongoing Mueller investigation, criticizing him for refusing to produce a memo that outlines the scope of that investigation and questioning whether it was started on legitimate grounds.

It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for lawmakers to demand documents that are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

In a statement, Meadows said Rosenstein’s conduct is “reprehensible.”

“It’s time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency,” Meadows said.

The move came about two hours after Republicans met with Justice Department officials who have been working to provide documents to several congressional committees about decisions made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Support unclear

Republican leaders, however, have said in recent weeks that they are satisfied with the Justice Department’s progress.

House oversight and government reform chairman Trey Gowdy said after the meeting that he was pleased with the department’s efforts and wouldn’t support Rosenstein’s impeachment. House Speaker Paul Ryan has also said he is satisfied with progress on the document production.

Democrats have criticized Republican efforts to pressure the Justice Department in recent months, saying they are attempts to undermine Mueller’s investigation.

Post Author: admin