On Wednesday evening, a group of 11 conservative lawmakers introduced articles of impeachment for Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. Deputy Attorney General in charge of overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump Administration.
The articles of impeachment introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, say Rosenstein in his representation of the Department of Justice has withheld documents from Congress for too long. The group says Rosenstein has even ignored Congressional subpoenas.
“For nine months we’ve warned them consequences were coming, and for nine months we’ve heard the same excuses backed up by the same unacceptable conduct,” Meadows said in a statement. “Time is up and the consequences are here. It’s time to find a new Deputy Attorney General who is serious about accountability and transparency.”
Meadows expressed his concern with the lack of document production from the DOJ, despite repeated requests from Congress.
“Still today, nine months into it, and we don’t know how many documents are out that are responsive to the subpoena, we don’t know how many have been delivered that are responsive out of that universe and how many remain to be delivered,” Meadows said.
But some Republicans don’t agree with the Meadow and his colleagues.
“These articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein were filed in bad faith and show extraordinary lengths to which House Republicans will go to protect Trump,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote on Twitter.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also said he does not support the calls for impeachment.
“Do I support impeachment of Rosenstein? No, I do not,” he said. “I don’t think we should be cavalier with this process or term,” he said of impeachment, adding, “I don’t think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
These Republicans might be seeing the bigger picture. If Republicans fire the person who oversees the Mueller probe, it will give fuel to Democrats and to the liberal media, who will suggest Republicans are scared of the Mueller investigation. It will give them something to talk about.
Republicans would be much wiser to allow Rosenstein to continue, criticize him for his inaction and ignoring of congressional subpoenas and expose to the American public how this investigation is really being run. The calls for impeachment are short-sighted and will hurt the party in the future.
It would ultimately do Republicans much more good to wait this investigation out, as President Donald Trump has vowed to do — despite his constitutional authority to fire Mueller or Rosenstein whenever he wants.