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Meadows: Lawmakers ‘seriously’ considering holding DOJ officials in contempt of Congress

Meadows: Lawmakers ‘seriously’ considering holding DOJ officials in contempt of Congress
© Greg Nash

Some lawmakers in the House are “seriously” mulling whether to hold officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in contempt of Congress, according to Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE (R-N.C.).  

“It’s a Judiciary Committee decision. They would vote it out and it would go to the House floor,” Meadows told reporters Tuesday night. “It is being seriously considered.”

The lawmaker's comments come amid GOP concerns over DOJ officials' failure to produce more documents related to the FBI’s decision-making during the 2016 presidential election.

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Such a move would likely require the support of leadership. It’s unclear whether there’s much appetite in the wider GOP conference for taking aim at DOJ officials — especially as speculation swirls about whether President Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller or make other leadership shake-ups at the DOJ following the FBI’s raid on Trump’s personal lawyer.

Meadows and other conservatives have been growing increasingly frustrated with the DOJ for failing to comply with a subpoena, issued by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), to turn over a tranche of documents that touch on a range of DOJ and FBI activity during the presidential election.

But the latest comments from Meadows, a close Trump ally, come as the president has expressed outrage over Monday's FBI raid, which Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE reportedly signed off on. Federal prosecutors were reportedly seeking information on payments made to two women who both claim to have had affairs with Trump years ago.

Some GOP lawmakers fear that the firing of Mueller, Rosenstein or Attorney General Jeff Sessions would cause chaos in Washington, spark a constitutional crisis and dim Republican hopes of holding their congressional majorities.

But other conservatives disagree with that assessment, saying they would understand if Trump took steps to fire officials at the Department of Justice.

Meadows told reporters that he thought there was a sufficient basis to oust Rosenstein, saying there a “number of reasons,” but declined to elaborate further.

“It’s too early to put forth a case on that,” he said.