GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein

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

Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinMaking the case for ranked-choice voting The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Maine governor certifies Dem's win in disputed House race, but calls it 'stolen election' 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 RosensteinFeds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates MORE," Poliquin tweeted. "I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote House votes to hold Trump Cabinet members Barr, Ross in contempt 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 GowdyCummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump Our sad reality: Donald Trump is no Eisenhower 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 TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade 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 CummingsDHS chief to Pelosi: Emergency border funding 'has already had an impact' Cummings tears into DHS chief for conditions at migrant border facilities EXCLUSIVE: Career officials rebut claims of White House interference in security clearance process MORE (Md.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCourt filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media 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.