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 Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing MORE if he doesn't comply with a request for an interview with the panel.

Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview 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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 JordanTrump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Democratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews 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 ComeyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 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: YouTube disables 200+ accounts over Hong Kong misinformation | Lawmakers sound alarm over Chinese influence efforts | DHS cyber agency details priorities | State AGs get tough on robocalls | DOJ busts online scammers Lawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong President Trump is right: Mainstream media 'do a very good job' 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) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE’s Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE recused himself from the matter.