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Sessions defends Rosenstein amid House GOP impeachment push

Sessions defends Rosenstein amid House GOP impeachment push
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTime to bring federal employees home for every holiday Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 MORE fiercely defended his deputy Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House 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 MeadowsPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines On The Money: McConnell offering new coronavirus relief bill | Biden introduces economic team, vows swift action on relief | Rare Mnuchin-Powell spat takes center stage at COVID-19 hearing MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney, top GOP lawmakers ask Trump campaign for proof of election fraud New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Sunday shows preview: Biden team gears up for transition, Trump legal battles continue and pandemic rages on 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 has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report McCaskill: 'Hypocrisy' for GOP to target Biden nominee's tweets after Trump Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate 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) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting 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 alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE. Mueller’s probe includes exploring whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.