Rosenstein to ask House to investigate committee staff: report
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will ask the House to probe it’s committee staff, according to a report from CNN.
A Justice Department official told CNN that Rosenstein plans to “request that the House general counsel conduct an internal investigation of these congressional staffers’ conduct” this week.
The development comes as Fox News reported on Tuesday that Rosenstein threatened to subpoena emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on the House Intelligence Committee.
The network obtained emails describing the January meeting, in which aides said they felt threatened by Rosenstein.
“The [Deputy Attorney General] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee’s former senior counsel for counterterrorism, Kash Patel, said in a note to the House Office of General Counsel.
“Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to [the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”
However, a Justice Department official pushed back against the accounts of the meeting from aides.
“The Deputy Attorney General never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation,” a Justice Department official told CNN. “The FBI Director, the senior career ethics adviser for the Department, and the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs who were all present at this meeting are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended Rosenstein on Tuesday during an interview with Fox News, telling the network he was “confident that Deputy Rosenstein, after 28 years in the Department of Justice, did not improperly threaten anyone on that occasion.”
Rosenstein and the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), have battled for months over Nunes’s document requests, but Nunes reportedly never raised concerns about Rosenstein’s behavior during the January meeting.
The two men even went to dinner with a friend after the meeting, according to CNN.