Column | Why Rosenstein should be removed
I, along with several other members of Congress, am seeking the removal of Rod Rosenstein, from any job duties involving investigating Russia, Clinton, Trump or anything really beyond traffic court. Rosenstein has proven himself to be both incompetent and insubordinate simultaneously. More importantly, he is obstructing justice. Let me tell you how.
Nearly ten months ago, Congress requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) comply and deliver requested documents related to the DOJ’s handling of the 2016 and 2018 election. Since that day, the DOJ has provided only 1,400 of the requested 50,000 documents. That’s a small fraction of what we need and almost a year of delay. Rosenstein is behind this delay.
To compound this, Rosenstein is a witness in this matter and should never have been in charge of the investigation. He signed a key FISA warrant to spy on President Trump. He also made misrepresentations to the Court when he signed the warrant. His actions are directly at issue here. There is conceivable way he can be in charge of an investigation that implicates his own actions. Yet he still persists, and it appears he is stonewalling Congress to obstruct us from finding out more about this and more about his own involvement.
Let me ask this: If Sessions had a potential appearance of conflict because he once had a shot of vodka with a Russian Ambassador, how does Rosenstein not have an actual conflict of interest here when his actions are being questioned? These two outcomes cannot be reconciled.
Following Attorney General Session’s recusal from any issues relating to the 2016 campaign, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was put in charge. This was a mistake on two levels: one, Sessions had no need to recuse himself initially and essentially hamstrung the President from the get go. You would not see Eric Holder abandon Obama in this way. Two, we got Rosenstein instead, a weak sister. Since this change, Rosenstein has done nothing but mislead, obstruct and fail at his responsibilities to provide Congress and the American public with the requested documents.
We are now past 500 days since Rosenstein took over the investigation and we have received less than 30 percent of the documents. Rosenstein has failed to keep his promise to deliver the truth to Congress and in doing so has lied to the American people.
As a member on the House Oversight and Government Reform, I have joined my colleagues in requesting documents regarding the DOJ's handling of the Secretary Clinton email investigation.
During this investigation the DOJ has been caught red-handed hiding information, covering up embarrassing transactions, and ignoring Congressional subpoenas. In addition to diverting from the truth, it was also revealed that Rosenstein signed off on a FISA warrant used to spy on an American citizen based on the politically motivated dossier.
Of the documents Congress has received, many of them are duplicates, or heavily redacted and contain little information. Under Rosenstein’s supervision the documents also unnecessarily redacted embarrassing information, including the price of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table. Claiming “national security” as a pretext to hide information that is clearly not involving national security is lying and hiding evidence.
Due to unsuccessful Congressional attempts to motivate the Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with oversight requests, I joined my colleagues in cosponsoring a resolution calling for the impeachment of Rod Rosenstein for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The failures cited within the Articles of Impeachment, include “intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the FISA process, and failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas, among others.” He also has a patent conflict of interest that disqualifies him. Lying to congress, hiding evidence, and acting in a manner to protect himself are grounds to impeach.
While I would like to see the DOJ comply with congressional authority and deliver the requested documents, they have left us no choice but to use the tools granted to us by the Constitution.
Our founding fathers granted Congress the sole Power of federal officers as the ultimate check against the abuse of power. Since 1789, 19 federal officials have been brought up on impeachment charges by the House of Representatives. Of those 19 eight people were convicted after a Senate trial.
It is very simple, at the end of the day this is a question about the constitution and who is the boss? I will not stand for unelected bureaucrats sidestepping their duties to the American people. Rosenstein was given plenty of time. Now he must go. I will fight with the last full measure of my efforts to make sure that the people’s representatives prevail.