GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein

GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein
© Greg Nash

Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinTrump battle with Fox News revived by Arizona projection Rep. Jared Golden wins reelection in Maine Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE (R-Maine) on Wednesday evening came out against the GOP resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"I do not support moving to impeach 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," Poliquin tweeted. "I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate 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 Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE should run its course. #mepolitics." 

Eleven House GOP lawmakers earlier on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, the top Department of Justice (DOJ) official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. 

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The lawmakers, led by Reps. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsMeadows says Trump World looking to 'move forward in a real way' Trump takes two punches from GOP Watchdog urges Justice to probe Trump, Meadows for attempting to 'weaponize' DOJ MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Jordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 MORE (R-Ohio), allege that Rosenstein has a "conflict of interest" in the Mueller investigation and has dragged his feet when producing documents for ongoing investigations into the FBI and DOJ's conduct during the 2016 presidential election.

The introduction of the resolution does not guarantee it will get a House vote.

However, it is the latest escalation in the GOP's fight against the Justice Department. The House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are currently investigating FBI and DOJ decisionmaking during the 2016 presidential election. 

"For nine months, we’ve warned them consequences were coming, and for nine months, we’ve heard the same excuses backed up by the same unacceptable conduct," Meadows, the head of the House Freedom Caucus, said about the articles to impeach Rosenstein. "Time is up and the consequences are here. It’s time to find a new Deputy Attorney General who is serious about accountability and transparency." 

"The DOJ is keeping information from Congress. Enough is enough. It’s time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress’s constitutional oversight role," Jordan said in a statement.

Several GOP lawmakers have ruled out Rosenstein's impeachment since GOP lawmakers started touting the plan in recent weeks.

Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, last week ruled out the possibility of impeaching Rosenstein, saying there is not enough support for his ouster. 

"Impeach him for what?" Gowdy said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "No." 

Conservatives frustrated with Mueller's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election have long targeted Rosenstein. Some lawmakers claim he has delayed their investigation into FBI agents involved in Mueller's investigation who they feel are biased against Trump.  

Democrats, however, called the attempt at impeachment "a direct attack on the special counsel’s investigation."

"It is a panicked and dangerous attempt to undermine an ongoing criminal investigation in an effort to protect President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE as the walls are closing in around him and his associates," said the top Democrats on the House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, and House Intelligence committees, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee Five big questions about the Jan. 6 select committee MORE (Md.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffA new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign Officers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe MORE (Calif.), in a joint statement.

Rosenstein in May pushed back at his GOP critics, saying that the Justice Department is "not going to be extorted" in response to the threat of impeachment.