House panels postpone meeting with Rosenstein

House panels postpone meeting with Rosenstein
© Anna Moneymaker

Two House committees have postponed a scheduled meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinEx-Trump aide: Can’t imagine Mueller not giving House a ‘roadmap’ to impeachment Rosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump MORE, sparking irritation from conservative lawmakers who had sought to grill the official over a report he had considered wearing a wire to record President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE.

“Rosenstein was supposed to come for an interview in Judiciary tomorrow about discussing wearing a wire to overthrow the President. … I was advised this morning that now he won’t be coming,” Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Parkland parents create anti-gun violence Valentine’s Day candies: ‘Don’t shoot,’ ‘he’s gone’ House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power MORE (R-Fla) tweeted on Wednesday.

He included the hashtag #LowEnergyOversight, a criticism of the panel.

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A House Judiciary Committee aide told The Hill that the panel does not have a time confirmed for Rosenstein to appear on Capitol Hill.

“We have many questions for Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and expect answers to those questions. There is not at this time a confirmed date for a potential meeting. Nevertheless, we will continue to provide updates as we have them,” the aide said.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur-Flores said they had “nothing to announce at this point.”

House Republicans rushed to set up an interview with Rosenstein last month, shortly after The New York Times published a bombshell report that said the deputy attorney general had spoken to other officials about wearing a wire to record President Trump after he fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE last May.

The story also said Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of Cabinet officials invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office last year.

Rosenstein and the Justice Department fiercely disputed the story, some other news outlets have reported that the comments were made in jest.

Trump invited Rosenstein on Air Force One for a trip on Monday, a high-profile visit. He later said he had no plans to fire Rosenstein. A White House spokesperson said the two spoke for roughly 30 minutes during the flight to Orlando.

Rosenstein has been overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump says he hasn't spoken to Barr about Mueller report Ex-Trump aide: Can’t imagine Mueller not giving House a ‘roadmap’ to impeachment Rosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' MORE recused himself from the matter.

He has frequently been targeted by Trump allies on Capitol Hill.

In July, a group of conservative House lawmakers introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, accusing him of “unacceptable conduct.” They criticized him for failing to produce documents related to a congressional investigation into FBI decisionmaking during the 2016 presidential election. 

Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The 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 MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump Jordan says Oversight should be more focused on McCabe, Rosenstein ahead of Cohen testimony White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration MORE (R-Ohio), two House Freedom Caucus members leading the charge, later backed off talks of impeachment — although they have since continued their attacks against Rosenstein.

Before news the meeting had been postponed broke, its details appeared fuzzy.

Meadows said the meeting would be between the joint task force — a small group of Republican members on the committee — while other Republican lawmakers like Gaetz and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) appeared to expect to participate.

Juliegrace Brufke contributed.