GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein

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

Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinHouse Democrats make initial ad buys in battleground states The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 Maine Democrat announces he'll vote for only one article of impeachment against Trump 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 RosensteinSupreme Court to hear dispute over Democrats' access to Mueller materials Republicans release newly declassified intelligence document on FBI source Steele GOP's Obama-era probes fuel Senate angst MORE," Poliquin tweeted. "I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by 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 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 Randall MeadowsAtlanta airport checkpoint closed after worker tests positive for coronavirus House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanGOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers Comer tapped to serve as top Republican on House Oversight 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 GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America 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 John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' 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 CummingsFacial recognition tools under fresh scrutiny amid police protests The sad spectacle of Trump's enablers Democrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland MORE (Md.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats hit Trump for handling of Russian bounty allegations after White House briefing Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Democrats face tough questions with Bolton 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.