Sessions defends Rosenstein amid House GOP impeachment push

Sessions defends Rosenstein amid House GOP impeachment push
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBiden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' Trump says Sessions wasn't 'mentally qualified' to be attorney general Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE fiercely defended his deputy Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinSenate Republicans issue first subpoena in Biden-Burisma probe Graham to release report on his probe into Russia investigation before election McConnell embraces subpoena of Obama-era officials MORE on Thursday morning after a group of House conservatives introduced an impeachment resolution against him. 

“My deputy, Rod Rosenstein, is highly capable,” Sessions said at an event in Boston when asked to address the impeachment efforts. “I have the highest confidence in him. You probably know that not only did he go to the Wharton School of Business, but he graduated from Harvard right here in this area.”

His comments came after a group of House conservatives led by Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Memo: Trump agenda rolls on amid pandemic Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal Trump threatens to withhold Michigan, Nevada funding over mail-in voting MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanFBI director stuck in the middle with 'Obamagate' Merger moratorium takes center stage in antitrust debate Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday night introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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The lawmakers have grown increasingly furious with the Justice Department for what they view as a failure to turn over documents requested by Congress related to the department’s probes into Russia's election interference and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE’s emails.

“The DOJ is keeping information from Congress. Enough is enough. It’s time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress’s constitutional oversight role,” Jordan said in a statement. 

Sessions said Thursday that Congress would be better served to focus on working on passing immigration legislation.

“What I would like Congress to do is to focus on some of the legal challenges that are out there. We need Congress to deal with the immigration question,” Sessions told reporters.

“There are loopholes in our laws that are being exploited. We need to get them focused and we are pleading with them to do so. Our job and our enforcement officers' jobs are far more difficult than they need to be. Commonsense legislation can make a big difference. That’s where I would like to see them focus their time,” Sessions said.

The articles filed Wednesday include a series of allegations against Rosenstein, such as accusing him of having a conflict of interest in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe. The lawmakers allege he is a “witness” in the investigation because he signed off on a renewal of an FBI application to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. 

Democrats have cast the effort as an effort to attack Mueller’s investigation, which has frequently attracted ire from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE. Mueller’s probe includes exploring whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.