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 RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' 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 MeadowsSchumer urges declassification of letter from Pence aide Republicans take aim at Nadler for saying GOP senators complicit in 'cover-up' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules 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 JordanCheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial 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 ScaliseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' MORE (R-La.) said if reports Rosenstein discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and wearing a wire to secretly tape President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation 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 MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay 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 McCabeMcCabe accuses Trump officials of withholding evidence in lawsuit over firing McCabe: Being accused of treason by Trump 'quite honestly terrifying' Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us MORE, Politico first reported Tuesday.