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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 MeadowsFusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth in Congress, attorney cries McCarthyism Fusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth following House GOP subpoena Trump makes new overtures to Democrats MORE (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Poll: Republicans narrowly prefer Jordan to lead House GOP House panels postpone meeting with Rosenstein MORE (R-Ohio) called Monday on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinFBI investigated media leak of McCabe comment about Flynn and Trump House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Sessions unveils task force to combat transnational criminal groups like MS-13 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 NunesJuan Williams: Trump, the Great Destroyer The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE (R-Calif.), over Nunes's document requests related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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.