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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 RosensteinConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Papadopoulos set to testify before House lawmakers Rod Rosenstein has no conflict 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 TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report 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) GaetzFormer FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 House panels postpone meeting with Rosenstein Florida Dems attack GOP campaign as ‘racist’ after Republican labels Gillum 'Kill'em' on crime 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 ComeyConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Former FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure 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 SessionsConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Support for legal marijuana hits all-time high: Gallup Beto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' 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 MeadowsConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Farm bill negotiators should take advantage of the moment Conservative rep slams Rosenstein's 'conflicts of interest' MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanConservatives fume over format of upcoming Rosenstein interview Nellie Ohr exercises spousal privilege in meeting with House panels Meadows calls on Rosenstein to resign 'immediately' 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.