It’s “up to” Rod Rosenstein whether lawmakers will vote to impeach him on the House floor, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) warned Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” hours after filing articles to remove the deputy attorney general.
“We’re hopeful that we’ll get some documents that we identified today. But if not, as soon as tomorrow we could do a privileged motion that would require a vote in two days,” Meadows (pictured above right) said. “I think the American people are tired of talk … they want action. And it’s up to Rod Rosenstein.”
Meadows, along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, above left) and nine other House members, introduced the articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on Wednesday evening.
The lawmakers accused Rosenstein of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including the failure to comply with congressional subpoenas, intentionally withholding redacted information and documents Congress members have the constitutional right to see, and abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Congressional committees have sought information concerning the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) handling of high-profile investigations into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business.
Lawmakers also sought information regarding the events that spurred the launch of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe, including the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant requests and three renewals targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. They also want details behind the bureau’s reliance on the unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which she then controlled.
Although congressional investigators have received some of the documents they requested and subpoenaed, many of those were significantly redacted, often so much as to render them useless.
“Really, for nine months, we’ve asked for documents … All we want are the documents. And what we’ve found is, not only have subpoenas been ignored, but information has been hidden, the efforts have been stonewalled,” Meadows lamented.
“I guess, for us, it’s all about transparency so the American people can judge for themselves,” Meadows added. “[DOJ officials] may be able to ignore Congress, but they can’t ignore the American people.”
Meadows told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he and his colleagues took “the first step tonight,” noting that bringing an impeachment vote to the House floor does not require consent from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at all.
“It’s a ‘privileged motion.’ So what we put in today was nonprivileged. It goes in, it gets referred to the [House Committee on the Judiciary]. But starting tomorrow, we can bring it up as a privileged motion,” Meadows noted, which “really means that it would require a vote on the House floor within two days.”
“Quite frankly, it’s either we hold [Rosenstein] in contempt, or we get the documents, or we impeach him. And the only thing that we have control over is the ability to bring impeachment straight to the floor,” Meadows said. “Why do we have to dig so deep to find out information that should come free-flowing if we’re really interested in justice?”
Jordan, who also joined Meadows on “The Ingraham Angle,” noted that he and other lawmakers sent Trump a letter “several weeks ago” asking him to “declassify the information” they sought and order the DOJ to “get us all the information.” But Trump has not replied to the letter, Jordan said.
“But the bottom line is, we have sent numerous letters to Rod Rosenstein they haven’t complied with, two subpoenas they haven’t complied with, we’ve caught the Department of Justice hiding information, redacting information that they should not have redacted,” Jordan said.
“We are tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information,” Jordan added. “We are entitled to do our constitutional duty. More importantly, the American people are sick of it. That’s why we filed the resolution.”