Ryan says he opposes GOP effort to impeach DOJ's Rosenstein

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Ryan made the comments a day after the group of 11 House Republicans sharply escalated the extended clash with the Justice Department by filing articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. They have expressed anger with what they say is Rosenstein's lack of cooperation in providing documents related to the Russian Federation investigation to Congress. The impeachment effort came over the objections of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said Thursday he backed the Justice Department's number-two official.

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

During an appearance in Boston, Sessions said Rosenstein had his "highest confidence" and referred to to his top deputy as "highly capable".

Rosenstein insists the Justice Department is being unusually cooperative given its normal policy not to reveal any information about ongoing cases, but his adversaries in the House have accused him of stonewalling.

But the real audience for the long-shot effort led by House Freedom Caucus members Reps.


The impeachment articles stated that Rosenstein refused to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the surveillance of Carter Page.

At a news conference Thursday, Ryan says he doesn't think lawmakers should be "cavalier" with the impeachment process. Last month, Rosenstein and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had a particularly heated exchange as the lawmaker and others grilled the deputy attorney general during a hearing about the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the Hillary Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations.

Not all Republicans are on board with the impeachment proceedings.

Republican leaders, however, have said in recent weeks that they are satisfied with the Justice Department's progress.

Democrats on the House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform and intelligence committees called the impeachment effort a "panicked and risky attempt to undermine an ongoing criminal investigation in an effort to protect President Trump as the walls are closing in around him and his associates". Even if they could get the House to impeach Rosenstein, the closely divided Senate is unlikely to follow suit.


Meadows alleged that lawmakers have "caught" Justice officials hiding information from Congress, withholding relevant documents and ignoring congressional subpoenas. "Our message to the Justice Department: either produce the documents or take the consequences".

The group, led by Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, has criticized Rosenstein and Justice Department officials for not being responsive enough as House committees have requested documents related to the Russian Federation investigation and the closed investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's emails. While we have acted in good faith and given DAG Rosenstein every opportunity to comply with Congressional requests, he has evaded our attempts to conduct oversight time and time again.

For his part, Mr. Rosenstein has thumbed his nose at the lawmakers.

"Impeachment is a punishment; it's not a remedy", said House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, who has led one of several House GOP investigations into the department and has complained of anti-Trump bias. Page has since left the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Strzok has been removed from active duty while he's under review for possible disciplinary action.


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