This week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP
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Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMcCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on From border to Mueller, Barr faces challenges as attorney general Senate Dem: 25th Amendment talks don't reflect 'some deep state conspiracy' MORE is set to meet with House Republicans this week as part of the lingering fallout from a bombshell New York Times report.

The interview with the joint House Oversight and Judiciary Committees comes after The Times reported last month that Rosenstein had discussed wearing a wire to record Trump as part of a possible effort to seek his removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

“The 11th is the date that we're shooting for. The leadership and Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte [(R-Va.)], and a number of the conservative members said it should be a transcribed interview in a closed-door setting,” Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-N.C.) told Hill.TV’s “Rising” last week.


Rosenstein, a frequent target of the president’s frustration, has denied the report, but it’s raised fresh questions about how long he’ll be in the No. 2 Justice Department role as well as potential implications for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s probe into the 2016 election.

It is unclear in what format Rosenstein would meet with the lawmakers, whether as a transcribed interview as part of the investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice headed by the GOP-controlled Judiciary and Oversight Committees or as something less formal.

But the interview follows repeated calls by House Republicans for Rosenstein to answer questions about the Times report, which other outlets reported were made in jest.

“You can’t have the head of the Justice Department, (even if it’s sarcasm) talking to subordinates about recording the Commander in Chief,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE, said last month.

The sit-down with House lawmakers comes after Trump and Rosenstein met aboard Air Force One on Monday.

"I’m not making any changes. You’d be the first to know," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if he plans to fire the top Justice Department official.

"We actually get along," Trump said of his relationship with Rosenstein.

Trump said he had a "very nice talk" with Rosenstein aboard Air Force One, a meeting he called to discuss the deputy attorney general's future in the administration.

The highly anticipated meeting between Trump and Rosenstein had been repeatedly delayed because of Trump’s traveling and the Senate’s consideration of Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughVirginia can be better than this Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Kavanaugh shows his stripes on Supreme Court's 'shadow docket' MORE’s Supreme Court nomination.

"I don't want to interrupt what's happening with Judge Kavanaugh,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn last week.

Trump said at the time that he had already spoken with Rosenstein. Trump signaled last last month that he was inclined to keep Rosenstein on at the DOJ.


The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court over the weekend, but some Republicans are pushing for an investigation into how a letter from Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s first accuser, was leaked.

Republicans have questioned how the letter from Ford, which details her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, was made public. Ford gave the letter to Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Dems to mull bills to overturn Trump ObamaCare actions MORE (D-Calif.), who gave the letter to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (D-Calif.).

“I think it will be investigated,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved MORE (R-Ky.) told Fox News late last week.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has asked lawyers for Ford to turn over any communications with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, or her staff, as well as any talks with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (D-Hawaii) or her staff.

Feinstein has repeatedly denied that she or her staff leaked the letter, and has noted that one of the reasons she kept it private for weeks was in an effort to respect Ford’s request for confidentiality.

But Grassley hasn’t publicly backed having an investigation into how the letter was leaked.

“You ask a legitimate question, but I’m trying to maintain the best relationship I can with Dianne Feinstein,” he told The New York Times last week. “I consider her a friend.”

Some members of the committee have backed a probe, including Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Poll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Texas), McConnell’s No. 2, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: More urgent for kids in Kentucky to have secure border than new school 
 White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Limbaugh calls 25th Amendment discussions 'silent coup' MORE (R-S.C.), who could be the next committee chairman if Republicans keep the Senate and Grassley takes over the Finance Committee.

"We're going to do a wholesale, full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process, to deter it from happening again,” Graham told ABC News late last month.

Health insurance

Democrats are expected to force a vote on overturning a Trump administration rule expanding non-ObamaCare insurance plans.

The resolution would overturn a rule finalized in August that expanded the availability of short-term health insurance plans.

Democrats consider the plans to be “junk” insurance because they does not need to cover pre-existing conditions or follow other ObamaCare rules.

"On Wednesday we are voting to overturn these junks plans. I am eager to see whether Republicans want to support these junk plans and stick w Trump or do they want to support their constituents. I think they stick w Trump," Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Trump defends using DOD funds on border wall: 'Some of the generals think that this is more important' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says MORE (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet on Monday. 

But Republicans argue the plans provide a cheaper option alongside ObamaCare plans.

The resolution would need to pick up Republican support to clear the Senate. GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine), who broke with their party on health care last year, have not publicly said how they will vote.


McConnell wrapped up the Senate’s rare Saturday session by filing cloture on three Trump nominees: Jeffrey Bossert Clark and Eric Dreiband to be assistant attorneys general and James Stewart to be an assistant secretary of Defense.

The move tees up the Senate to start voting on the nominations as soon as this week.

Senators are also expected to need to make a deal on nominations if the Senate wants to adjourn before the end of the month. The chamber is currently scheduled to be in session through Oct. 26.

McConnell has indicated that Democrats will need to make a deal if they want to let several vulnerable senators spend the final weeks in the lead up to the election campaigning in their home states.

“Our friends on the other side who have a number of incumbents running for reelection this year are going to want to ... recess," McConnell said at last month’s Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington.

"It won’t surprise you that I’m making my list and checking it twice," McConnell said. "That, my friends, is how we’re dealing with obstruction.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) came under fire by progressive outside groups after he made a deal on nominations that let the Senate reclaim part of its August recess.

Water resources

The Senate is poised to take up the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. McConnell has set up a vote to end debate on the legislation for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

If the bill overcomes the hurdle, senators have up to an additional 30 hours before they could take a final vote on the bill. 

House and Senate negotiators announced last month that they had gotten an agreement on what should be included in the bill, which authorizes funding for water infrastructure projects. 

“America needs comprehensive water infrastructure legislation that will cut Washington red tape, create jobs, and keep communities safe,” GOP Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) said at the time.