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 RosensteinTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon 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 TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' 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) GaetzAddressing climate change is a win for Republicans — why not embrace it? Ex-GOP lawmaker hits Kyle Kashuv's racist posts: 'These are the social media postings we see of a shooter' Ex-GOP lawmaker hits Kyle Kashuv's racist posts: 'These are the social media postings we see of a shooter' 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 ComeyIntel chairman says FBI starting to answer questions on Russia probe Intel chairman says FBI starting to answer questions on Russia probe Want the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida 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 MeadowsFBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question House Oversight Republicans release parts of Kobach, Trump officials' testimony on census citizenship question 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.