Congressional committees have sought information concerning the Department of Justice's (DOJ) handling of high-profile investigations into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct official US diplomatic business.
However, the move by Republicans was not filed as a "privileged resolution." It's unclear if there will be a vote on the articles and lawmakers are due to leave soon for a multi-day recess. But with House Speaker Paul Ryan among those opposed, the resolution is unlikely to go as far as a vote. If Trump ultimately decides to fire Rosenstein, says MoveOn.org's Ben Wikler, "that absolutely triggers" nationwide protests.
Wednesday's resolution had nine cosponsors, though notably not conservative House leadership such as Trey Gowdy, chair of the Oversight Committee, and Bob Goodlatte, chair of the Judiciary Committee.
The move came about two hours after Republicans met with Justice Department officials who have been working to provide documents to several congressional committees about decisions made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
House Republican members of the conservative Freedom Caucus introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday - the latest salvo in an ongoing back-and-forth between some in the GOP over the Justice Department's handling of the Russian Federation probe.
"Quite frankly, it's either we hold [Rosenstein] in contempt, or we get the documents, or we impeach him". Rosenstein has overseen the Russia investigation since previous year, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe following reports of his meeting with the Russian ambassador.
Catch Cohen's take on who is America
Cohen's character said its goal was to arm children from the ages of 3 to 16 years old in Israel. Well, technically it was Sacha Baron Cohen , portraying his Who Is America? character.
The Justice Department has provided lawmakers with more than 800,000 documents, but Meadows claimed after the meeting that there was still "frustration" with how Rosenstein has handled the oversight requests.
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. "Not only have subpoenas been ignored, but information has been hidden, efforts have been stonewalled".
They also accuse Rosenstein of signing off on improper surveillance of a Trump adviser.
In a statement, Meadows said Rosenstein's conduct is "reprehensible".
"The failures cited within the articles include intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] process, and failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas, among others", they said. But Trump has not replied to the letter, Jordan said.
Also, as Rosenstein himself pointed out in a congressional hearing last month, it takes a lot of imagination to believe that slow or even resistant document production in the federal government is the result of an anti-Congress conspiracy that is directed all the way from the top.