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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 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.) and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Cruz on Boehner: 'I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn' MORE (R-Ohio) called Monday on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review allegations that 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 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 NunesRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC What good are the intelligence committees? CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Calif.), over Nunes's document requests related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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.