Paul Ryan pushes back on conservatives, saying he does not support impeaching Rosenstein

Paul Ryan pushes back on conservatives, saying he does not support impeaching Rosenstein
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDuncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and hardly a voice of caution to be heard MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday came out against the conservative push to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE, the top Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's Russia investigation. 

"Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein?" he asked during a press briefing at the Capitol. "No, I do not."

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"I don't think we should be cavalier with this process or this term [impeachment]," he said. "I don't think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors."

A group of 11 conservative House lawmakers, led by Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing House Republicans on Judiciary strategize ahead of Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ohio), the co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsGOP lawmakers, Trump campaign rip 'liberal law professors' testifying in impeachment hearing Live coverage: Witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses House Republicans on Judiciary strategize ahead of Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-N.C.), the group's current chairman, on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. 

The articles of impeachment charge that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller's probe and has failed to produce documents for ongoing congressional investigations into the FBI and Justice Department's conduct during the 2016 presidential race.

Meadows on Wednesday night threatened to force a vote on Rosenstein's impeachment by bringing it up as a "privileged" resolution, meaning the House must vote on it within two days. 

Ryan has not signed on in support of the resolution, but Meadows said it would not require his consent. 

Other top GOP lawmakers have voiced concerns about the push to impeach Rosenstein. 

Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.) last week  ruled out the possibility of impeaching Rosenstein, saying there is not enough support for his ouster, while Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerNC rep explores Tillis primary challenge Democrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps On The Money: Trump opens surprise new front in trade war | Trump official proposes tariffs on .4B in French goods | US manufacturing contracts for fourth straight month MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Thursday  came out in opposition, telling reporters on Capitol Hill that he would vote against any effort to impeach Rosenstein.