“I think at this particular point, Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE’s priorities are misplaced. His unwillingness to come before Congress and allow us to conduct proper congressional oversight, along with the other information that we’ve learned over the last week or so, would indicate that Rosenstein has not displayed the candor of which would support one’s theory of actually believing that he has been open and honest in all regards," Meadows told reporters.
"So with that, I think that it’s time that Rod Rosenstein steps down. He should do so immediately and in doing that, I think it would serve the country well, it would serve this president well," he added.
The comments marked Meadows's most explicit call yet for Rosenstein's resignation. House Freedom Caucus members had previously said Rosenstein should either testify before Congress or resign from his post.
Rosenstein, the DOJ's No. 2 official, oversees special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation into Russia's election interference. Conservatives, particularly the Freedom Caucus, have criticized the investigation and called it biased against President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE.
Conservative lawmakers have also been seeking to ask Rosenstein about a report that he had considered wearing a wire to record Trump and suggested invoking the 25th Amendment. Those lawmakers have hoped Rosenstein would testify this month, but he hasn't yet.
Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio), another member of the Freedom Caucus forthright in sharp criticism of Rosenstein, on Thursday criticized Rosenstein for giving an interview to The Wall Street Journal but not testifying before Congress.
Rosenstein told the newspaper on Wednesday that Mueller's investigation is "appropriate and independent."
"Rosenstein interviews with @WSJ where he says Mueller investigation is 'appropriate and independent.' Translation—there’s time for media spin to justify Mueller probe but no time to answer questions from Congress about his statement on recording the President," Jordan tweeted.
Rosenstein interviews with @WSJ where he says Mueller investigation is “appropriate and independent.”— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 18, 2018
Translation—there’s time for media spin to justify Mueller probe but no time to answer questions from Congress about his statement on recording the President.
Olivia Beavers contributed to this report