Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was hit with possible impeachment proceedings on Wednesday as part of an ongoing congressional investigation.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) introduced the articles of impeachment after nine months of being stonewalled by the Department of Justice (DOJ). They hold Rosenstein (pictured above) chiefly responsible for the stonewalling.
Jordan was a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, which Meadows now heads. It includes 31 conservative and libertarian Republicans who are often at odds with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other Establishment GOPers.
Congressional investigators have been reviewing questionable decisions the DOJ has made during two major FBI investigations related to the election of 2016.
“The stonewalling over this last year has been just as bad [as] or worse than under the Obama administration,” Meadows said in a statement. “Multiple times we’ve caught DOJ officials’ hiding information from Congress, withholding relevant documents, or even outright ignoring congressional subpoenas.”
The articles of impeachment claim the agency intentionally withheld embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hid material investigative information, abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, and failed to comply with congressional subpoenas.
“Now we have evidence that Mr. Rosenstein signed off on a document using unverified political opposition research as a cornerstone of a FISA application to spy on an American citizen working for the Trump campaign,” Meadows said.
“This level of conduct, paired with the failure to even feign an interest in transparency, is reprehensible. And whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this kind of obstruction is wrong,” Rosenstein said.
The House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee launched a joint investigation last year into decisions made by the DOJ and FBI. The House even had to pass a resolution June 28 demanding that the agencies comply with congressional requests for documents and subpoenas.
House Republicans are looking into the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while she was secretary of state and what led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump or his associates colluded with Russian interests.
House Republicans have been concerned that the earlier investigations showed a clear bias against Trump. FBI agent Peter Strzok was even caught exchanging thousands of text messages with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that showed a clear hatred for the president.
Strzok was involved in the email investigation before jumping onto the special counsel probe. He was removed from the probe after his text exchanges with Page were uncovered August 2017.
The DOJ inspector general (IG), Michael Horowitz, released a 500-plus page investigative report on the email investigation in June. The report cited the text messages were unprofessional and damaged the FBI’s credibility, but said IG investigators found no evidence the extreme anti-Trump bias influenced the bureau’s decisions.
Meadows and Jordan introduced the articles of impeachment alongside nine other lawmakers.