Pro-Trump conservatives draw battle lines with Rosenstein impeachment bid

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Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus escalated their battle against the Justice Department on Wednesday, filing articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for what they allege is his failure to hand over documents to Congress about the Russian Federation investigation.

"The Department of Justice continues to thwart and/or impede the oversight authority of the Congress", Perry said in a press release.

Ryan said the tussle over document requests between House Republicans and Rosenstein, who oversees the federal Trump-Russia investigation, doesn't rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanours" that could warrant impeachment under the Constitution.

The resolution is not a sign that the House is about to vote to impeach Rosenstein, as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy - who have been pushing for documents from the Justice Department - did not sign on.

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"It's time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency", Meadows said.

Rosenstein insists the Justice Department is being unusually cooperative given its normal policy not to reveal any information about ongoing cases, but his adversaries in the House have accused him of stonewalling.

The resolution on its own does not mean that the House is on the verge of voting to impeach the deputy attorney general, and conservative House members agreed Thursday morning to holding off on a vote to impeach Rosenstein until after the August recess.

In addition to Meadows and Jordan, the Republican lawmakers who sponsored the impeachment articles are Reps.

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"I don't think we should be cavalier with this process or with this term", Ryan told reporters.

Not all Republicans are on board with the impeachment proceedings.

So far, neither GOP leadership or the Justice Department's top brass are following suit.

"It is a panicked and unsafe attempt to undermine an ongoing criminal investigation in an effort to protect President Trump as the walls are closing in around him and his associates", the top Democrats on the House Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, and Intelligence panels said in a joint statement. Rosenstein has fiercely pushed back against his House Republican critics, warning in May that the Justice Department is "not going to be extorted" amid threats that he could be impeached. The impeachment articles are the result of almost 9 months of unsuccessful Congressional attempts to force the Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with oversight requests.

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Rosenstein, the No 2 official at the Justice Department, has become a frequent punchbag for supporters of President Donald Trump for appointing Mueller to investigate whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. While we have acted in good faith and given DAG Rosenstein every opportunity to comply with Congressional requests, he has evaded our attempts to conduct oversight time and time again. In response to the measure, Democrats Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., issued a statement calling it a "direct attack" on Robert Mueller's investigation. Gowdy said after the meeting that he was pleased with the department's efforts. That includes four Trump campaign advisers. "Removing Mr. Rosenstein from office is the only option left to Congress".

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