A small group of Republicans in the House on Wednesday evening filed an impeachment resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, charging that the top Justice Department official had repeatedly not cooperated and refused to share documents with Congressional investigators, as the more conservative GOP lawmakers argued it was time to ‘hold him accountable.’
“The stonewalling over this last year has been just as bad or worse than under the Obama administration,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who filed the impeachment articles on the House floor.
“The DOJ is keeping information from Congress. Enough is enough,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). “It’s time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress’s constitutional oversight role.”
Republicans accuse Rosenstein of defying and resisting Congressional oversight, on both the Russia investigation, and questions about how the FBI and Justice Department handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Meadows and his allies filed the impeachment resolution soon after lawmakers met with Justice Department officials, again demanding documents related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
“We have given Rod Rosenstein every opportunity to comply with Congressional requests,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). “He has evaded our oversight time and again.”
“Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have repeatedly ignored Congressional requests and subpoenas, showing a complete disregard for Congressional oversight authority,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
“Mr. Rosenstein’s Department is subject to constitutional checks and balances,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ). “I call on my colleagues to assert our constitutional responsibility and approve these articles of impeachment.”
Not all Republicans were ready to line up behind the plan.
“Reckless publicity stunt,” tweeted Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). “No different from Dems who filed articles of impeachment against the President some months ago.”
Democrats also blasted the move.
“The American people have had enough of this manufactured crisis and Republicans’ continuing efforts to undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
“What has the modern Republican Party become?” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), as Democrats urged voters to register their disapproval at the ballot box in November, as they labeled the charges an “unfounded attack.”
“These articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein were filed in bad faith and show extraordinary lengths to which House Republicans will go to protect Trump,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
“Conservative GOP impeachment push against Deputy AG Rosenstein is a naked assault on the rule of law in America,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
The official introduction of the resolution came a day before the House was scheduled to leave Washington for an extended summer break, as members are not back for legislative business until after Labor Day in September.
The resolution is not “privileged” – so, immediate action is not required.
The move is not supported by a number of Republicans in the House, one reason a vote will not occur before September.
The full House would have to approve articles of impeachment, which would then be subject to a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds supermajority is needed to remove an official from office.