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 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 if he doesn't comply with a request for an interview with the panel.

Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden 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 TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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 JordanGOP's embrace of Trump's false claims creates new perils Jan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers House Republican calls on Biden to have plan to counter drug trade in Afghanistan 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 ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign 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 RatcliffeSunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Sunday shows preview: US grapples with rising COVID-19 cases 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) 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 Russia probe since Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE recused himself from the matter.