Eleven GOP lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – a move that represents a dramatic escalation in the battle over the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The resolution, spearheaded by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, sets up a showdown with House Republican leaders who have distanced themselves from calls to remove Rosenstein from office, Washington Post writes.
“We’re tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information we’re entitled to to do our constitutional duty. More importantly, the American people are sick of it. That’s why we filed the resolution,” Jordan told Fox News.
All eleven lawmakers are part of the House Freedom Caucus, a bloc whose members have been among the most persistent critics of Rosenstein. House Republicans have been increasing attacks against Rosenstein recently, accusing him of withholding documents and being insufficiently transparent in his handling of the probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
A House GOP aide told ABC News that the articles of impeachment were not filed as a “privileged resolution,” meaning they cannot force a vote on it on the House floor, with the aide also noting that this could change.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has not signed on to the measure, and it’s unclear if there will be a vote on the articles and lawmakers are due to leave soon for a multi-day recess, ABC News adds.
In response to the effort, Democrats Jerrold Nadler, Elijah Cummings, and Adam Schiff, issued a statement in which they say that the resolution is a “direct attack” on Mueller’s investigation.
“This resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is a direct attack on the Special Counsel’s investigation — full stop. It is a panicked and dangerous 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,” the statement read.