USA Today Op-Ed: Trying to impeach Rod Rosenstein is only to undercut Robert Mueller’s investigation
USA Today Op-Ed: Trying to impeach Rod Rosenstein is only to undercut Robert Mueller's investigation
‘The investigation must follow the evidence wherever it leads. The American people are entitled to answers and accountability.’
Another political stunt by Republicans
The House Republican effort led by Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is a reckless attempt to obstruct and interfere with the ongoing investigation into Russia’s attack on our democracy. This disgraceful stunt ought to be swiftly rejected as a partisan abuse of the impeachment power to weaken the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Our intelligence community unanimously concluded last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered covert efforts and an influence campaign to “undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order” and “public faith in the U.S. democratic process” with a “clear preference for President-elect Trump.” Rosenstein appointed Mueller to investigate those attacks by the Russian government and its agents, and any links or coordination between the Russian attack and individuals associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Rosenstein is Mueller’s supervisor. Efforts to remove Rosenstein are about undercutting Mueller’s independence and the integrity of his investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse from the probe due to his own role on the Trump campaign and numerous meetings with Russian officials during the campaign. Removing Rosenstein would make it easier for Trump to fire Mueller, as the president has reportedly considered on various occasions.
The impeachment resolution smacks of a coordinated effort to cover up and dismiss efforts to hold wrongdoers accountable. Impeachment must be used only in the gravest of circumstances. In recent history, it has never been used to remove a sub-Cabinet official such as Rosenstein.
Playing partisan political games with the impeachment power only further weakens trust in government and destabilizes our constitutional system where the rule of law must remain supreme.
The investigation must follow the evidence wherever it leads. The American people are entitled to answers and accountability. With the approaching elections, Americans are closely watching how Congress will respond to this latest effort to subvert the rule of law.
We must together put country before party to bolster the resilience of our democracy.
Karen Hobert Flynn is president of Common Cause, a a watchdog group. You can follow her on Twitter:@KHobertFlynn.