Congressman Backs Off Impeaching Rosenstein After Leadership Talks

11 House Republicans filed articles of impeachment on Wednesday
July 26, 2018 Updated: July 27, 2018

A Republican congressman is postponing a move to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after meeting with top members of his party.

“I think the very first order of business would be moving the House to a contempt vote,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters on July 26.“I think it is our desire to have more of a contempt process, which obviously has to have a partner with the Speaker and I think, hopefully, they will at least acknowledge we’ve made some reasonable concessions to give DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI.”

On July 25, a group of House lawmakers introduced five articles of impeachment that accuse Rosenstein of “high crimes and misdemeanors” by intentionally keeping documents and information from Congress. He’s also accused of failing to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

But, on July 26, Meadows said that his move to table impeachment comes after he had a “very good” conversations with the “leadership team [and] with Chairman Goodlatte on a path forward.” Elaborating further, the congressman said he hopes to avoid impeachment.

Rosenstein is the top DOJ official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. He took over after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe.

The move to seek impeachment came after the DOJ over the weekend publicly released a heavily redacted version of a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page, a former adviser to the Trump campaign. Republicans said that the new revelation shows that the FBI and DOJ, under the Obama administration, used FISA authorization to wiretap members of the Trump campaign.

The GOP lawmakers allege that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller’s investigation because he could be called as a “witness,” amid the ongoing investigation into potential surveillance abuse against Page. Rosenstein approved the FBI surveillance renewal application to surveil Page.


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