Trump Allies Threaten to Impeach Rosenstein
Their supposed leaders are continuing to defend Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but some of President Trump’s closest allies are working on a new campaign to shut down the probe and undercut Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Mueller’s boss.
The Washington Post and other news outlets report this morning that members of the House Freedom Caucus, the far edge of the right wing among congressional Republicans, are circulating draft articles of impeachment against Rosenstein.
The Post reports that because House Speaker Paul Ryan and other senior GOP leaders oppose it, there is little chance that the impeachment resolution will reach the House floor. The Freedom Caucus may try to use it as a political weapon against Rosenstein and Mueller however, and it could help Trump rally his core supporters across the country as Republicans brace for what promises to be a challenging midterm election.
If brought to a vote, the resolution would need the support of a majority of the 435-member House to force a trial in the Senate. Two-thirds of the 100 senators would have to vote for conviction in order to force Rosenstein from office.
Common Cause is part of a coalition of government reform organizations that are rallying support for Mueller, Rosenstein, and the investigation to counter the president’s attempt to write it off as a “witch hunt.” The coalition is pushing senators to act on a bill, endorsed last week by a bipartisan majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee, that would block any move to fire Mueller or shut down the investigation.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, called the impeachment draft “a last resort.” He and others in the Freedom Caucus are frustrated by what they contend are Rosenstein’s slow or incomplete responses to congressional inquiries about the Justice Department’s work to obtain warrants for electronic surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
The classified warrants were approved by a special court. They were issued in part based on a Trump dossier assembled by a former British intelligence agent whose work was financed initially by Republicans and later by the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.