House

House panels postpone meeting with Rosenstein

Two House committees have postponed a scheduled meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, sparking irritation from conservative lawmakers who had sought to grill the official over a report he had considered wearing a wire to record President Trump.

"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 Gaetz (R-Fla) tweeted on Wednesday.

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

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 Comey 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 Mueller's Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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 Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (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.

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