Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced their intention Tuesday night to submit a resolution for a House vote compelling Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to produce requested documents — ones relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian interests.
Earlier in the evening, Meadows and Jordan met with GOP leadership about Rosenstein’s slow-rolling release of the documents in the Russia investigation. The meeting included Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
Meadows and Jordan broke their news exclusively on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Tuesday evening. It followed directly on the heels of a jaw-dropping revelation a few hours earlier on Fox News of yet another issue involving the embattled Rosenstein.
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The crux of the earlier report by Fox’s Catherine Herridge on “Special Report” is that congressional staffers are alleging Rosenstein threatened to use the power of his office to “subpoena” calls and emails of the House Intelligence Committee members who are investigating the Mueller probe.
“In essence, the head of the Justice Department, Rod Rosenstein, was threatening members of the House Intelligence Committee for doing their job, for trying to get answers for the American people,” said Jordan (pictured above, center), reacting to the additional breaking news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had defended Rosenstein’s alleged behavior.
“And the attorney general says, ‘That’s OK. We’re doing just fine’?” he added. “Are you kidding me?”
“There’s two problems with it, Laura,” said Rep. Meadows (shown above left) , chair of the House Freedom Caucus. “One is, we’re a separate branch of government. They [the DOJ] don’t have the right to do that [to subpoena emails and calls] unless we’re coming under some kind of criminal investigation. And for the attorney general to say he’s confident that Rod Rosenstein did everything right? Well, I’m confident he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m here to tell you, we’re fed up with it,” Meadows added flatly.
He shared a draft of a resolution exclusively on “The Ingraham Angle” that would compel Rosenstein to release the requested documents. He explained they’re still “putting finishing touches” on the resolution and plan to file it on Wednesday.
The resolution, Meadows said, is “all about compelling DOJ to turn over documents so we can do proper oversight.” Jordan added they want to bring the resolution before the whole House for a vote.
Meadows then challenged Rosenstein to join him and Jordan on “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night to lay out the facts.
“We’re going to have a vote on the House floor one way or another. We’re going to have a vote, and we’re going to make sure we get those documents,” said Meadows.
When Ingraham said Rosenstein had been invited on the show many times in the past, Meadows replied that Rosenstein’s failure to appear was because “they’d rather do private press releases to spin the narrative at midnight and try to act like they’re complying.”
When Ingraham asked if the resolution draft called for Rosenstein’s removal, Meadows indicated that it did not.
He did, however, say that calling for Rosenstein’s impeachment was “something we still have in our toolbox.”
“We’re going to have a vote on the House floor one way or another. We’re going to have a vote, and we’re going to make sure we get those documents,” Meadows declared.
He added that he and Jordan had met with Speaker Ryan and Trey Gowdy earlier in the evening. House leadership, said Meadows, wants to “give it more time.”
“The facts are on our side. How long is long enough?” asked Meadows. “And I’m saying, ‘Today is long enough.'”
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” noted Ingraham.
In the report from earlier Tuesday evening, chief intelligence correspondent Herridge revealed a series of emails stemming from a closed-door meeting in January. Attendees of that meeting included Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, staffers, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as Fox News reported.
Staffers’ emails were sent to the House office of general counsel. They documented employees’ recollections of the meeting and allege that Rosenstein threatened to subpoena calls and emails of the GOP-led committee tasked with securing documents from the DOJ and FBI in the Russia probe.
“Watching the deputy attorney general launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening,” said a House Intelligence Committee staffer on January 12, as Fox News reported. “Also, having the nation’s number-one (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to ‘subpoena your calls and emails’ was downright chilling,” the staffer’s email continued.
Justice department officials deny the unsavory characterization of the staffer’s emails documenting the meeting, as Herridge’s report explained. The DOJ claims that comments the staffers’ referenced were made in response to Rosenstein’s being threatened with contempt of Congress.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself early on from the Russia probe, appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” also on Tuesday evening. Sessions defended Rosenstein, reiterating the DOJ’s contention that the nature of the staffers’ emails had been mischaracterized.
“I am confident that Deputy Rosenstein, 28 years in the Department of Justice, did not improperly threaten anyone on that occasion,” said Sessions on the show, referring to the alleged threat detailed in emails from House Intelligence Committee staffers.
Attorney General Sessions: "I'm confident that Deputy Rosenstein, 28 years in the Department of Justice, did not improperly threaten anyone on that occasion." #Tucker https://t.co/3uw0f11JgK pic.twitter.com/fVXpMPyRSI
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 13, 2018
Herridge’s report also indicated that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, when he returns from a work trip, will request an internal investigation of the staffers whose emails brought his seeming avoidance of congressional oversight into question.
On Feb. 3, I tweeted that Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena calls & texts of Intel Committee. Ryan Reilly of Huff Post called my reporting "dubious". He was wrong. See https://t.co/L7HkH3ESPU
— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) June 12, 2018
Chilling and highly inappropriate. Unfortunately not the first time the deep state fights back, even if it is over the line or illegal. https://t.co/UMbzgfZ91M
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) June 12, 2018
Rod Rosenstein should resign immediately. His continued efforts to hide information are deeply troubling. This isn’t a police-state Rod.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) June 12, 2018
Rosenstein either needs to be impeached or fired. https://t.co/flrn1B15Nz
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 12, 2018
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) June 12, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.