Trump allies move to impeach Rod Rosenstein

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Republican supporters of President Donald Trump in Congress filed doomed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday night in a desperate attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. The 11 lawmakers accuse the Department of Justice of "intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information", and allege the agency hid investigative information from Congress, abused the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act and failed to comply with subpoenas, according to a statement.

He also says Rosenstein's back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over document requests doesn't rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that would warrant impeachment under the Constitution. Rosenstein has overseen the special counsel's probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

If the House were to pass impeachment articles, "this would tie the Senate into knots" when members need to be acting on other matters, Ryan said.

The other Republicans introducing the articles of impeachment are Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee. "No, I do not", Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters at his weekly news conference. The impeachment effort is led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, who talks to Trump frequently and often defends him to colleagues. If the department does not comply during the legislative break, Republicans may move to hold Rosenstein in contempt instead of voting to impeach him. Recently, Meadows joined with Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, asking the Department of Justice's internal watchdog to look into accusations of Roseinstein threatening House staffers.

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Democrats charge that Republicans are targeting Rosenstein because they're trying to undercut Mueller's probe.

"Impeachment is a punishment, it's not a remedy", House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy said shortly before Meadows introduced the resolution.

The resolution to impeach Rosenstein, which Meadows and his conservative allies have been threatening for weeks, is the strongest step that conservative allies of President Donald Trump have taken in their feud with Rosenstein and the Justice Department.

House Rules Committee ultimately approved a nonbinding resolution demanding "full" Justice Department compliance with subpoenas issued for documents and information related to the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigation.

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"The DOJ is keeping information from Congress", Jordan said.

The Justice Department declined to comment. It was highly unlikely Rosenstein would have been impeached but the gesture was meant to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation which is under the supervision of Rosenstein.

"Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have repeatedly ignored Congressional requests and subpoenas, showing a complete disregard for Congressional oversight authority".

Part of that effort, Democrats have said, includes what they see as Republicans making unreasonable document demands tied to the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

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Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Adam Schiff of California said Rosenstein "stands as one of the few restraints against the overreaches of the president and his allies in Congress". "Removing Mr. Rosenstein from office is the only option left to Congress".

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