Conservative lawmakers demand Rosenstein testify this week or face impeachment
Two conservative lawmakers said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein must testify before Congress this week or face impeachment.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Tuesday morning demanded Mr. Rosenstein appear before lawmakers to explain reports he discussed secretly taping President Trump and advocated removing him from office.
“You can’t have the number two official at the Department of Justice making comments about wiring the President and not address it,” Mr. Meadows, North Carolina Republican, tweeted. “Rod Rosenstein must come before Congress this week, under oath, and tell the truth about his alleged statements.”
The tweet follows comments Mr. Meadows made Monday evening suggesting lawmakers are prepared to impeach Mr. Rosenstein if he doesn’t testify.
“We are pushing very hard to make sure that he comes in under oath to Congress and let the American people judge for themselves,” he said on Fox News. “I can’t tell you that ifhe does not, there are a number of us that are standing by really with impeachment documents. That said, we cannot have this kind of activity continue at DOJ.”
On Friday, a New York Times report alleged Mr. Rosenstein talked about wearing a wire during a meeting with Mr. Trump and tried to recruit Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
The article claimed Mr. Rosenstein was distressed after Mr. Trump fired ex-FBI director James Comey.
Mr. Rosenstein has denied the report.
Conflicting media reports emerged Monday alleging Mr. Rosenstein was no longer employed at the Justice Department. Some reports said Mr. Rosenstein had resigned, while others claimed he was fired.
Those stories turned out to be overblown and Mr. Rosenstein is still at the Justice Department as of Tuesday morning. He is set to meet with Mr. Trump on Thursday.
Mr. Meadows is the second conservative lawmaker to suggest impeaching Mr. Rosenstein. Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, also told Fox News on Monday that Congress needs to hear from Mr. Rosenstein.
“Any member of Congress can call up Rosenstein’s impeachment and it must be voted on two days,” he said. “If we don’t have Rosenstein in the witness chair, Mark Meadows and I are prepared to do just that and keep Congress in town to do the oversight work.”