If GOP lawmakers move forward with this, you can safely assume they are all compromised, in some way, and the outrage from the public needs to be long and loud.
Politico is reporting that three conservative sources on Capitol Hill are saying that moves are being made by some Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
This came on the same day Rosenstein announced that there have been twelve indictments handed down against Russian intelligence officers for their part in meddling in the 2016 election.
Nope. Nothing suspect about that.
According to Politico:
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, in fact, had the impeachment document on the floor of the House at the very moment that Rosenstein spoke to reporters and TV cameras Friday.
Republicans in Congress have been after Rosenstein for some time, now. The not-so-well-kept secret is that with Rod Rosenstein gone, a more Trump-friendly deputy attorney general could derail the ongoing probe into Russian interference.
The same theory works for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earned the ire of Trump and his cult-like following by recusing himself from anything Russia-related, in the first place.
Conservative sources say they could file the impeachment document as soon as Monday, as Meadows and Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) look to build Republican support in the House. One source cautioned, however, that the timing was still fluid.
“It has not been filed today,” was all Meadows spokesman Ben Williamson would say. Williamson declined to rule out whether Meadows intended to file the document next week.
So what’s their beef with Rosenstein (at least, that they’re admitting to)?
This particular group of Republican lawmakers – all loyalists to President Trump – want specific information on the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including information on two agents accused of sharing anti-Trump text messages.
FBI agent Peter Strzok appeared in a joint hearing of the House Oversight and House Judiciary committees on Thursday.
A defiant (kinda cocky, actually) Strzok fired back at House Republicans about what he referred to as “hyperbolic” text messages, often sent late at night, but strongly denied any manner of bias on his part, or the part of the FBI.
Lisa Page, an FBI attorney and the mistress of Strzok, appeared in a closed door meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill for a five hour Friday session.While it is yet unknown what she testified to, lawmakers say she was cooperative and transparent, providing information that they couldn’t get from Strzok a day earlier.
The committees are looking to uncover any bias towards Trump, as well as information on how the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email servers.
But back to Rosenstein…
The Trump faithful are also considering bringing contempt of Congress charges about the number two DOJ official.
House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t exactly been warm to the idea of targeting Rosenstein with such ferocity. He’s professional enough that he recognizes what a bad look this is for the GOP.
Then again, he doesn’t have the backbone to really tell his colleagues to cut the crap, either.
The House, with Ryan’s blessing, adopted a measure last month accusing Rosenstein and other DOJ officials of bucking Congress and demanding access to thousands of sensitive FBI documents by July 6. It’s unclear whether Republican leaders are satisfied with DOJ’s efforts since then or if they’re preparing a renewed push for the materials.
Here’s the thing: Some of the material they’re demanding is highly sensitive, involves an ongoing investigation, and there is concern that to release that material could cause real damage to national security.
Not just national security, but to the life of a secret informant.
The current crop of GOP lawmakers aren’t buying it, and the White House overruled the FBI on the matter, declaring on Thursday broad power to Congress to interfere in an ongoing investigation.
In his remarks Friday, Rosenstein urged the public to be wary of leaks surrounding the Mueller probe.
“We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings. Most anonymous leaks are not from the government officials who are actually conducting these investigations,” he said.
“We follow the rule of law, which means that we follow procedures, and we reserve judgment,” he added. “We complete our investigations, and we evaluate all of the relevant evidence before we reach any conclusion. That is how the American people expect their Department of Justice to operate, and that is how our department is going to operate.”
Solid words, and in a normal administration, with no shadow of foreign powers pulling the strings, it would make perfect sense.