House Republican members of the conservative Freedom Caucus introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday - the latest salvo in an ongoing back-and-forth between some in the GOP over the Justice Department's handling of the Russian Federation probe.
Meadows, along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, above left) and nine other House members, introduced the articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on Wednesday evening.
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".
"With Attorney General Sessions' recusal, Rod Rosenstein has been in charge of the Department of Justice as the agency has made every effort to obstruct legitimate attempts of congressional oversight", Meadows said. "We will have a plan to hold in contempt and impeach", Nunes said in an appearance on Fox.
The Justice Department said it had no comment.
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 US election.
Meadows said Wednesday that he wouldn't rule out re-filing the articles of impeachment using a procedural maneuver, known as a privileged motion, that would require the full House to vote within two days.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has not signaled his support.
"The president should not mistake this move by his congressional enablers as a pretext to take any action against Mr. Rosenstein or Mr. Mueller and his investigation", the three House Democrats concluded.
"Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein's failure to recuse himself in light of this inherent conflict of interest and failure to recommend the appointment of a second special counsel constitute dereliction of duty".
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, March 23, 2018.
Democrats have argued the focus on Rosenstein is an attempt to broadly undermine the Mueller investigation.
Rosenstein is accused violating Congressional subpoenas by withholding requested documents pertaining to Mueller's ongoing investigation and for allegedly abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, through which warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page were issued a year ago. The Justice Department essentially says it's trying to comply, but that these Republicans want a lot, and it takes times.
Also in April, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who oversees the House Intelligence Committee, threatened to impeach both Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
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