Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday afternoon. Nine other members of the House Freedom Caucus joined them. Rep. Jordan posted a press release describing the group’s motivation for taking this step:
The impeachment articles come as evidence continues to mount regarding the Department of Justice’s problematic decision-making during the 2016 campaign and conduct surrounding the transition to President Trump’s administration in 2017. The impeachment articles are the result of nearly 9 months of unsuccessful congressional attempts to force the Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with oversight requests.
The failures cited within the articles include intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the FISA process, and failure to comply with congressional subpoenas, among others.
In the same release, Rep. Meadows said, “Time is up and the consequences are here. It’s time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency.” The impeachment document has five articles, two of which have to do with document production by the DOJ. This is from Article III:
The Department of Justice, under the supervision of Mr. Rosenstein, unnecessarily redacted the price of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table because it was potentially embarrassing information.
The Department of Justice, under the supervision of Mr. Rosenstien, redacted FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s personal relationship with FISC Judge Rudolph Contreras.
The Department of Justice, under the supervision of Mr. Rosenstein, redacted the names of high-ranking Obama administration officials, such as former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
The Department of Justice, under the supervision of Mr. Rosenstein, redacted the names of high-ranking FBI officials, such as former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
But despite the tough talk both Fox News and CNN are reporting that there’s no indication any action will be taken on this soon given that the August recess starts Friday. From CNN:
The resolution is not a sign that the House is about to vote to impeach Rosenstein, as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy — who have been pushing for documents from the Justice Department — did not sign on. The House is also leaving for a monthlong recess after Thursday…
The impeachment resolution that Meadows introduced was not “privileged,” which is a procedural motion that can force a House floor vote on the matter, a move that liberal Democrats have already taken against the President, though it was easily voted down.
A Meadows spokesman said the North Carolina Republican was leaving open the option of making the resolution privileged to force a vote. But such a move isn’t likely to occur until after the House returns in September.
So this seems to be another shot across the bow, albeit the most serious one thus far. Here’s Jim Jordan’s exchange with DAG Rosenstein last month: