Politico reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to meet with Republican Representatives and speak about recent reports tha he suggested wearing a wire to secretly record President Trump and tried to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th amendment.
Reports from The New York Times, CNN and others that Rosenstein had discussed a wire and the 25th Amendment added fuel to the Rosenstein criticisms, although Trump’s allies in Congress stopped short of calling for Rosenstein’s firing. Rosenstein said he never pursued recording the President and denied any suggestion he advocated for Trump’s removal, and one source in the room for the wiretapping comment dismissed it as sarcasm.CNN
CNN reports that the deal was struck between the House Leadership and Freedom Caucus members. The agreement, which entails Rosenstein attending a background meeting and not a formal hearing within the House probe into anti-Trump sentiment at the DOJ and FBI, fends off an impeachment attempt by Rosenstein’s critics.
Mark Meadows, one of President Trump’s fiercest defenders in the House, tweeted that if Rosenstein does not cooperate, he will be subpoened.
The DOJ source who spoke to Politico, states that Rosenstein voluntarily agreed to the meeting before House members threatened him with a subpoena. Goodlatte did not subpoena Rosenstein, but did subpoena former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s memos which document Rosenstein’s comments regarding recording the president.
Jim Jordan, another one of Trump’s staunch defenders, has said that the meeting will be open to members on both sides of the aisle.
The Republicans leading that investigation include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, along with top Trump allies Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan. The top Democrats on both committees, Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Elijah Cummings, are on the task force as well. Democrats have been invited to all of the panel’s interviews so far, and a GOP source said there was no reason this interview would be any different, but Nadler raised alarm that Democrats might be shut out.Politico
Rep. Nadler tweeted, “There is no such thing as a “closed, private hearing.” The @HouseGOP cannot be left alone in a room with DAG Rosenstein. They will not stop until theIr attempt to undermine Mueller’s investigation is complete. I will demand that @SpeakerRyan give us access to that meeting.”
The agreement comes after months of President Trump and the GOP being critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself resulting in Rosenstein taking oversight of the Russia investigation and after a brief report earlier this week that Rosenstein had resigned. That report turned out to not be true. He was scheduled to meet with President Trump on Thursday but that meeting was postponed due to the Kavanaugh hearing.
Meadows praised the agreement and stated the meeting would be a chance to ask Rosenstein about his “inconsistent statements”.
On Wednesday, Speaker Paul Ryan said that Congress shouldn’t “step in the way” of President Trump working out his issues with Rosenstein. Ryan and Goodlatte did not respond to requests for a statement and Ryan referred questions to the Judiciary Committe.