Freedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations

Freedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations
© Greg Nash

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsSunday Shows: Trump's court pick dominates Former Homeland Security Secretary Johnson: 'Disconcerting' to see Trump, Meadows cast doubt on election security Meadows: 'There are different degrees of confidence' in FBI director MORE (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse panel pulls Powell into partisan battles over pandemic Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election House passes resolution condemning anti-Asian discrimination relating to coronavirus MORE (R-Ohio) called Monday on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDOJ kept investigators from completing probe of Trump ties to Russia: report Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book MORE threatened to subpoena phone records and documents from a House Intelligence Committee staffer.

Jordan and Meadows noted multiple reports saying Rosenstein had criticized committee members and staff for sending written document requests, with one aide saying the deputy attorney general’s threats were "downright chilling" following a meeting in January. 

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"This notion Mr. Rosenstein threatened to use his official investigative powers as Deputy Attorney General to retaliate against rank-and-file staff members for sending written oversight requests raises concerns he has abused his authority in the context of this investigation," they wrote in their letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

News reports had indicated Rosenstein planned to call on the House general counsel to conduct an internal investigation on congressional staffers' "conduct" this week.

But the DOJ dismissed the aides' accounts of the events that took place.

"The Deputy Attorney General never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation," a Justice Department official told CNN last week. "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."

Tensions between Rosenstein and the Intelligence Committee's chairman, Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Trump nominates former Nunes aide to serve as intel community inspector general Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election MORE (R-Calif.), over Nunes's document requests related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation have been evident for months. But Nunes reportedly never raised concerns over the alleged threats during the January meeting. 

Jordan and Meadows, two of the most vocal critics of Mueller’s probe, said witnesses are able to provide documentation and sworn testimony on the occurrence.