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Trump’s allies in the House want to remove the deputy attorney general from office for failing to turn over requested documents.

President Trump’s conservative allies in the House of Representatives have moved to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, claiming that he committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” for failing to turn over requested documents and otherwise obstructing oversight by Congress.

Republican Reps. Mark Meadows (NC) and Jim Jordan (OH) filed the resolution late Wednesday, which charges the deputy attorney general with “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The resolution lists five articles of impeachment against Rosenstein.

This is an extreme escalation in a war that’s been brewing for months between the Department of Justice and Trump’s allies in Congress. House Republicans have issued subpoenas for documents related to the FBI’s investigations into Trump campaign aides’ Russia ties and investigations related to Hillary Clinton from 2016. They allege that Rosenstein is stonewalling them, failing to turn over the requested documentation by the required deadlines, or restricting access to certain materials.

The Justice Department, on the other hand, has maintained that it’s complying with the subpoenas and has already turned over hundreds of thousands of documents.

This impeachment resolution might just be symbolic — for now

Meadows and Jordan have floated the possibility of impeaching Rosenstein, or holding him in contempt of Congress, for weeks. The idea hasn’t gotten much traction with House leadership — and this move could very well reveal deep cracks in the Republican caucus.

This resolution is not privileged, which means that Meadows and Jordan can’t force a vote on it; however, Meadows’s office told CNN’s Manu Raju that they’re leaving open the option to make it privileged. But timing is everything; the House is headed off for summer break on Thursday, which means if they don’t force the vote this week, this won’t be dealt with until lawmakers return in September.

But this is still an extraordinary move by House Republicans, who are attempting to impeach a top Justice Department official in an administration controlled by their own party.

Democrats have said that the House lawmakers are trying to discredit Rosenstein, and by extension, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which the deputy attorney general oversees. Impeachment seems unlikely — it’s only happened to one Cabinet member in US history.

But Republicans’ resolution could force a showdown between the White House and Trump’s Department of Justice, giving cover to fire Rosenstein or forcing him to resign, suddenly throwing the future of the Mueller investigation into doubt.

Read the articles of impeachment against Rosenstein below:


Author: Jen Kirby
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