Rep. Trey Gowdy and Rep. Jim Jordan both tore into Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein during a hearing today. It was a scene the NY Times dubbed “open warfare.” We’ll start with Jordan who grilled an obviously flustered Rosenstein over document production. “Mr. Rosenstein, why are you keeping information from Congress,” Jordan asked to open his time.
When Rosenstein denied it, Rep. Jordan suggested the House was about to vote to show their lack of confidence that he was producing the documents they had requested. Indeed, the Times reports that vote did happen today:
On the House floor, Republicans voted in lock step to give the Justice Department seven days to produce sensitive documents related to the Russia inquiry and the F.B.I.’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email use. Though nonbinding, the measure was intended to put Mr. Rosenstein on notice that House lawmakers were willing to take punitive action — potentially including impeachment — if their demands were not met.
When Jordan mentioned this vote was coming, Rosenstein pointed his finger and responded angrily,”I don’t agree with you, congressman, I don’t believe that’s what they’re going to say and if they do they’ll be mistaken.”
As Jordan continued to hammer away, Democratic Rep. Swalwell jumped in to ask that the beleaguered Mr. Rosenstein be given a chance to answer. He was ruled out of order after several interruptions whose point seemed to be to interrupt for the cameras rather than clarify. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee performed a similar rescue effort a few moments later.
“Your use of this to attack me personally is deeply wrong,” Rosenstein eventually protested.
“It’s not personal, we just want the information,” Jordan replied. Here’s the clip of that exchange:
Next up, here’s Rep. Trey Gowdy’s questioning of Rosenstein. I believe this actually came before Rep. Jordan’s time, but I’m putting it second because Gowdy delivered the final word, as you’ll hear in a moment.
The first half of this clip is Gowdy’s recitation of the bias at the FBI and is worth a listen even if you’ve heard the details before. After that, Gowdy points out that the investigation has been going on for more than a year, with Democrats using it as both a fundraising tool and a justification for impeachment. And that’s when Gowdy wrapped it up with this:
Russia attacked this country, they should be the target, but Russia isn’t being hurt by this investigation right now. We are. This country is being hurt by it. We are being divided. We’ve seen the bias. We’ve seen the bias. We need to see the evidence. If you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the Trump campaign, present it to the damned grand jury. If you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately present it to the American people.
There’s an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I think right now all of us are being denied. Whatever you got. Finish it the hell up. Because this country is being torn apart.
That sentiment is actually quite similar to something Condi Rice when she appeared on ABC’s The View opposite Russia investigation spokesmodel Adam Schiff: “I really hope you can wrap it up,” Rice said, adding, “The country needs to get back to business, so my greatest hope is that this gets done.”
Here’s Gowdy’s statement.