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House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein

House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is threatening to subpoena Deputy Attorney General 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 if he doesn't comply with a request for an interview with the panel.

Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.), who is leading a joint investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Saturday that Rosenstein must give a “transcribed interview on the record” or the No. 2 Justice Department official will be subpoenaed.

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“It is essential that we talk to him — he knows that,” Goodlatte told Fox News. “He has not agreed to come for a transcribed interview on the record. He needs to do that, and if he does not agree to do that very soon, I will issue a subpoena for him to appear.”

Goodlatte joins other conservative House members who want to grill Rosenstein over a report that he had considered wearing a wire to record President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORESome of those lawmakers began pressing for action after a meeting with Rosenstein fell through last week.

“If it takes a subpoena, that's exactly what should happen,” Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments MORE (R-Ohio), a House Freedom Caucus member, told Fox News on Sunday.

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 Trump after he fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden's polling lead over Trump looks more comfortable than Clinton's Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report 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.

“We need him to answer questions about all kinds of issues associated with the Trump-Russia investigation," Jordan said Sunday. "But specifically, the statement that it's alleged that he said where he talked about actually recording the commander in chief of our great country and he talked about the 25th Amendment."

Rosenstein and the DOJ have fiercely disputed the Times report, claiming the comments were made in jest. Jordan, however, noted that former FBI general counsel James Baker indicated to the GOP House lawmakers earlier this month that he believed Rosenstein was serious about his wiretap remarks.

“When he says that he believed Rod Rosenstein was serious about this alleged statement about recording the president, you got to take that with the weight that it comes with, because it's the FBI chief counsel,” Jordan added.

The scrutiny over Rosenstein's wiretap remarks has renewed Republican calls for a second investigation into alleged misconduct at the Justice Department.

"The head of the FBI, acting Director Andy McCabe, and the head of the Department of Justice with respect to the Russia investigation, Rod Rosenstein, in direct conflict with one another, each accusing the other of not telling the truth with regard to whether or not someone wanted to record the president of the United States," Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeHillicon Valley: Big Tech hearing the most partisan yet | Rubio warns about foreign election interference | Trump campaign site briefly hacked Rubio warns that election interference may ramp up around Election Day Trump campaign website suffers apparent hack MORE (R-Texas), a member on the Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Sunday.

"That's why we have special counsel provisions. ... There should be a special counsel, so that we can get answers to these questions," Ratcliffe continued.

Rosenstein, who has frequently been targeted by Trump allies on Capitol Hill, has been overseeing 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 Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden fact checks Trump on 545 families separated at border, calls policy 'criminal' Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears MORE recused himself from the matter.