Judge Nap: Move to Impeach Rosenstein Is 'Baseless, Embarrassing for Everyone Involved'

Charlene Craig
July 26, 2018

"It's time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency", Meadows said.

The articles were introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Ohio's Rep. Jim Jordan, frequent critics of the Justice Department.

While the Republicans' impeachment articles against Rosenstein-which accuse him of "knowingly hiding" information from Congress-are unlikely to succeed, they represent a significant escalation of the GOP's attack on Mueller's investigation, which President Donald Trump continues to denounce as a "witch hunt".

House Republicans have also used impeachment as a political tool before - including against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, whose agency singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

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According to the Associated Press, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan hasn't endorsed this.

The Republicans also alleged Rosenstein is a witness who could be called into an investigation into potential abuse because he signed off on an FBI surveillance renewal application to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and therefore has a conflict of interest in the Mueller investigation, The Hill reported.

House Republicans have criticized Rosenstein for not being responsive enough as they have requested documents related to the Russian Federation investigation as well as a closed investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's emails.

Ahead of a meeting with Republican House members earlier Wednesday, a DOJ official insisted that they have largely complied with the subpoenas, and are working on finding accommodations for the information and documents that still need to be turned over.

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Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to discredit the Justice Department, and, by extension, the special counsel's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

For Rosenstein to be removed from office, a majority of the House must vote for the articles of impeachment and then the Senate must convict him on a two-thirds vote.

Republicans in the House have been discussing possible impeachment action against Rosenstein for some time. They are claiming he stonewalled congressional oversight of the Mueller investigation.

"Those are good arguments for ethical violations but not impeachable offenses", Napolitano said, calling the effort to impeach Rosenstein "wrong and baseless [and] embarrassing for everybody involved".

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Meadows and Jordan issued a statement saying "evidence continues to mount regarding the Department of Justice's problematic decision-making during the 2016 campaign and conduct surrounding the transition to President [Donald] Trump's administration in 2017".

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