Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on @freedomcaucus members considering his impeachment: "They can't even resist leaking their own drafts." He also says, "The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted.”— CSPAN (@cspan) May 1, 2018
Question from @lauraajarrett. pic.twitter.com/puEnP3thgA
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said threats of impeachment will not stop him from doing his job, The Washington Post reported.
“I think they should understand by now that the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Rosenstein said. “We’re going to do what’s required by the rule of law, and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has been in dispute with Rosenstein over refusal to turn over documents, especially on the monitoring of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Rosenstein approved the warrant for the surveillance.
Meadows said Rosenstein calling the impeachment articles an attempt to “extort” the Justice Department is “a lot of rhetoric with little facts.”
“If he believes being asked to do his job is ‘extortion,’ then Rod Rosenstein should step aside and allow us to find a new deputy attorney general — preferably one who is interested in transparency,” said Meadows.
Despite the influence enjoyed by the Freedom Caucus in Congress, impeaching Rosenstein would be nearly impossible.
To impeach the deputy attorney general, Meadow would need a two-third majority in the Senate to impeach Rosenstein.
Many critics believe, the threats of impeachment are a way to derail the special counsel’s Russian investigation — which has been a target of President Donald Trump’s wrath in the recent weeks. The deputy attorney general administers the investigation ever since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from it.
Rosenstein also noted the feuds between the Justice Department and Congress over the documents have been going on for years. The Justice Department’s No. 2, however, conceded the legislators have been acted to expose misconduct in some cases.
He said the Justice Department’s decision to not hand over documents is nothing new. Officials before him have refused to hand over FBI documents despite court orders to “compromise.”
Rosenstein said he is willing to go through the issues on a “case by case” basis but he cannot allow Congress to “rummage through files.”
“If we were to just open our doors to allow Congress to come and rummage through the files, that would be a serious infringement on the separation of powers, and it might resolve a dispute today, but it would have negative repercussions in the long run, and we have a responsibility to defend the institution,” he said.
Addressing the impeachment articles he said, “We have to affix our signature to the charging document. …I just don’t have anything to say about documents like that, that nobody has the courage to put their name on and that they leak in that way.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein