Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus escalated their battle against Rosenstein on Wednesday, filing articles of impeachment against the deputy attorney general who they accuse of stalling the handing over of documents to Congress related to the Russian Federation investigation.
The House of Representatives wrapped up legislative business on Thursday without considering articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, punting the potential showdown until September and affording the Department of Justice five more weeks to comply with a congressional subpoena. "No, I do not", Ryan, R-Wis., said, warning lawmakers not to be "cavalier" with impeachment while further expressing doubt that the GOP's showdown with the Department of Justice rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
"There is absolutely no basis to impeach Rod Rosenstein".
One of the eleven, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), announced his candidacy for House Speaker after Paul's tenure is completed this session.
Republican lawmakers closely aligned with President Donald had been floating the notion of Mr. Rosenstein's impeachment for several months, citing frustration with what they see as slow-walking their inquiry into perceived political bias against President at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, asserted that Rosenstein had "made every effort to obstruct legitimate attempts of congressional oversight".
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC also dismissed the possibility, saying it's "more likely" he'd end up "in the NBA playing basketball" than Rosenstein is to be impeached.
Democrats charge that Republicans are targeting Rosenstein because they're trying to undercut Mueller's probe. They could try to build support for a House vote when lawmakers return after Labor Day, although the attitude of Ryan or other leaders might not be different then.
Their move late Wednesday came after months of criticism aimed at the department - and the Russian Federation investigation in particular - from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress. Trump has fumed about Mueller's probe and has repeatedly called it a "witch hunt", a refrain echoed by some of the lawmakers.
House Rules Committee ultimately approved a nonbinding resolution demanding "full" Justice Department compliance with subpoenas issued for documents and information related to the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigation. 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. Meadows said after that meeting that there was still "frustration" with how the department has handled the oversight requests.
Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Adam Schiff of California said Rosenstein "stands as one of the few restraints against the overreaches of the president and his allies in Congress".
Rosenstein told lawmakers in June that he and the Justice Department are doing their best to provide the information sought by Congress. That includes four Trump campaign advisers.
"Information has been hidden, efforts have been stonewalled", Meadows said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday night. "Removing Mr. Rosenstein from office is the only option left to Congress".