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 MeadowsJan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth Holding defiant Trump witnesses to account, Jan. 6 committee carries out Congress's constitutional role Prosecutors say North Carolina woman deserves prison for bringing 14-year-old to Capitol riot MORE (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Jim Jordan reveals he had COVID-19 this summer The Memo: Gosar censured, but toxic culture grows MORE (R-Ohio) called Monday on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week 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 NunesProposed California maps put incumbents in jeopardy Devin Nunes's family ordered to reveal who is paying for defamation lawsuit Three key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-Calif.), over Nunes's document requests related to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG 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.