PoliZette

Trump Can Order Rosenstein to Give Docs to Congress, So Why Doesn’t He?

President hasn't received 'particularly good advice' on the Justice Department's failure to comply in a timely fashion with congressional subpoenas

Rod Rosenstein works for President Donald Trump, who can order the deputy attorney general to comply with subpoenaed document requests from Congress or face the consequences, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said Thursday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The great irony I thought of the hearing was my friend [Rep.] Jim Jordan [of Ohio] really laying into Rod Rosenstein saying, ‘You’re the boss. These people work for you.’ And the elephant in the room is that Rosenstein works for Trump,” said McCarthy, a National Review contributor and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“Trump can order this,” McCarthy (pictured above right) continued, saying the chief executive has not received “particularly good advice” in leaving Rosenstein alone out of fear of being accused of obstruction of justice.

Thus, Trump believes “that because he’s been under investigation for obstruction, and because the critics of Trump have conflated in the public mind the Republican Congress’ pursuit of what went on with the agents who conducted these investigations and [special counsel Robert] Mueller’s investigation — that if Trump acts to force disclosure and help Congress here, he’s effectively obstructing justice.”

But this opinion is “nuts,” McCarthy insisted, because he doesn’t “see an illegal obstruction case. But I think that’s where they’re at.”

Agreeing with McCarthy was Solomon Wisenberg, former deputy special counsel for Kenneth Starr’s Whitewater-Lewinsky investigation of former President Bill Clinton.

“President Trump has the absolute authority to order Rod Rosenstein to turn anything and everything to the Congress. And if he did it and Rosenstein didn’t want to do it, he could resign, or if he refused to do it, the president could fire him,” said Wisenberg (pictured above, second from right).

“Why hasn’t he done that?” Wisenberg asked, referring to Trump.

McCarthy and Wisenberg were commenting on Thursday’s heated hearing of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Republican members of the panel intensely grilled Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI investigations during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

The investigations focused on allegations that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests, and also on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business as secretary of State.

In particular, Jordan and other GOP members of Congress rebuked Rosenstein for his department’s failure to turn over all of the subpoenaed documents lawmakers have the constitutional right to review and have been requesting for months. The House also approved a nonbinding resolution on a party-line vote Thursday requiring the DOJ’s compliance with congressional subpoenas.

Related: ‘Whatever You Got, Finish It the Hell Up,’ Gowdy Tells Rosenstein

Former FBI national spokesperson John Iannarelli told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the whole document production process “is moving so incredibly slow,” noting that the DOJ “has to stop the glacial performance and recognize the American people want to know what’s going on.”

“Speed it up already. Let’s get the answers out there,” said Iannarelli (pictured above left).

Wisenberg also highlighted Rosenstein’s insistence that he had nothing to do with the “outrageous” redactions DOJ and FBI officials made to documents they did turn over to Congress for partial viewing.

“There appears that for many years, on and off, there’s been a rogue element in FBI leadership that obstructs these kind of investigations,” Wisenberg said. “And the question is, what’s going to be done about it? Because I think DOJ should do something about that.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.