Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said that he doesn’t support the Republican efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, NBC News reported.
“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein?” he asked during a press briefing at the Capitol. “No, I do not.”
“I don’t think we should be cavalier with this process, or this term [impeachment],” he said. “I don’t think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
A group of 11 conservative House lawmakers, led by Representative Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows, the group’s current chairman, on Wednesday, announced the articles of impeachment against Rosenstein.
According to the articles of impeachment, Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller’s probe and has failed to produce documents for ongoing congressional investigations into the FBI and Justice Department’s conduct during the 2016 presidential race.
Meadows said that he will force a vote on Rosenstein’s impeachment by bringing it up as a “privileged” resolution, meaning the House must vote on it within two days.
Although Speaker Ryan has not signed the resolution, Meadows said it would not require his consent.
Other top GOP lawmakers have voiced concerns about the push to impeach Rosenstein.
Representative Trey Gowdy dismissed the possibility of impeaching Rosenstein, saying there is not enough support or reason for his ouster.
However, Representative Mark Walker, who is the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Thursday went against his colleagues, saying that he is against any attempt for Rosenstein to be impeached.