A group of House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No.2 official at the Department of Justice, who oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump‘s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
According to The Hill, GOP leaders, led by Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, levied five allegations against Rosenstein for conflicts of interest and impeding an investigation. Jordan and Meadows, who have nine co-sponsors on the articles, said “we have the evidence” to show that the DOJ’s No. 2 has not been complying with congressional requests for more than a year.
In one case, the lawmakers claim Rosenstein has a conflict of interest with Mueller.
Early last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Mueller probe after Democrats claimed he had a conflict of interest because he “met” with a Russian ambassador once before and once after the 2016 election.
Sessions said he recused himself to remove any hint of bias — because he was nominated by Trump — or unethical behavior following outrage from many Democrats.
The Republicans also say Rosenstein signed three applications from the FBI under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to obtain a spy warrant on Carter Page, a brief aide on the Trump campaign. Rosenstein signing spy warrants on a former Trump official, which could be a big part of Mueller’s investigation, is a conflict of interest, the lawmakers argue.
The House Republicans also state in the other four allegations that Rosenstein and the DOJ have not provided information to Congress in a timely manner and have spent the past year refusing to hand over many documents to lawmakers regarding Mueller’s probe.
Collectively, the five allegations argue that Rosenstein should be impeached because he has a conflict of interest and has refused to comply with numerous congressional inquiries to get information on the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
While many are frustrated with Mueller’s probe and would support Rosenstein being impeached from his position, actually getting a vote on the House floor may take some political maneuvering.
Meadows said on Tuesday that he may be able to introduce the measure without Ryan’s approval, which would come just before the House leaves on Thursday for a five-week recess.
Time will tell what happens next with Rosenstein, but it’s also important to note that Mueller has not provided any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia, acted unethically, or broken any laws.