GOP lawmaker: 'I do not support' impeaching Rosenstein

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

Rep. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinMaine governor certifies Dem's win in disputed House race, but calls it 'stolen election' GOP lawmaker to drop challenge to Maine's new voting system GOP lawmaker to appeal judge's ruling upholding Maine's new voting system 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 Jay RosensteinDems seize on Times bombshell to push allegations of Trump obstruction Trump calls Andrew McCabe a 'poor man's J. Edgar Hoover' CNN: DOJ preparing to announce end of Mueller probe as soon as next week MORE," Poliquin tweeted. "I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Rod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power 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 GowdyThe family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor Congress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms 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 TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration 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 CummingsOversight Committee reschedules public Cohen testimony for next Wednesday Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Five things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack MORE (Md.) and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPinterest blocks all vaccine-related searches in effort to combat anti-vax content Trump’s overreach is making a weaker presidency White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration 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.