Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign

Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign

The conservative House Freedom Caucus wants Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDemocrats ask judge to force McGahn to comply with subpoena Democrats ask court to force DOJ's hand on Mueller grand jury materials Washington celebrates diplomacy — and baseball — at Meridian Ball MORE to testify before the House Judiciary Committee or step down from his role at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"We took an official position that Rod Rosenstein needs to come in and testify before the Judiciary Committee within the week or he should resign," Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award Sondland testimony looms over impeachment hearings this week Democrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-N.C.) told The Hill on Tuesday evening, adding that he believes "hearings without consequences are a waste of the American taxpayer dollars."

Meadows said he's discussed their call for a hearing with top Republicans in the House, which was met with mixed feedback.

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"I approached it with leadership," he continued. "Obviously there are some leadership that are supportive, there are some that are cautious and I think the American people demand action."

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWill Republicans continue to engage in willful blindness? How Democrats can avoid fatal flaws of their impeachment inquiry Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (R-Ohio) — a leading voice in the powerful conservative group who is seeking to be the next Speaker — echoed Meadows's sentiments. 

"What would be the downside [of a hearing]?" he told reporters ahead of the meeting. "The American people would like to know, was the guy running the Justice Department actually talking in front of subordinates about recording conversations with the president of the United States, with the commander in chief. Even if it was done in a sarcastic way it's kind of weird."

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseChris Wallace: Trump testifying 'would be akin to Prince Andrew testifying about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein' Fox's Neil Cavuto rips into Trump over attacks on Chris Wallace's impeachment coverage This week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings MORE (R-La.) said if reports Rosenstein discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and wearing a wire to secretly tape President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE with administration officials are true, he doesn't believe he should remain in his position.

"Well, I know that they've [the House Freedom Caucus] been very vocal for a long time," Scalise told The Hill earlier in the day. "I've been real concerned about the direction that Rosenstein is taking. He, you know, I think even joking about the 25th Amendment challenge to the president, there's no place for that and he ought to resign. But ultimately, you know, obviously, we have a lot of things going on this week."

House Republicans are expected to leave Washington at the end of the week for October to campaign ahead of the midterm elections.

Despite the tight timeline, Meadows said he's "optimistic that we will be able to find a date that works for the deputy attorney general."

Rosenstein's fate has once again become a topic of discussion after the bombshell New York Times report earlier this month saying Rosenstein had discussed wearing a wire to record Trump.

On Monday, reports circulated that Rosenstein was heading to the White House expecting to either resign or be fired. The deputy attorney general left the meeting on Monday with his job intact, though Trump will meet with him on Thursday. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday evening that Trump has told his advisers he's open to keeping Rosenstein, though he hasn't made a final decision.

As the DOJ's No. 2 official, Rosenstein is responsible for overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE's probe into Russia's election interference. Republicans, led by members of the Freedom Caucus, have long railed against the Mueller investigation.  

Republicans are also beginning the process of subpoenaing the Justice Department for memos drafted by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe curious timeline for taking down Trump Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Brendan Gleeson lands Trump role in CBS miniseries based on Comey memoir MORE, Politico first reported Tuesday.