Ryan doesn't back effort to impeach Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein MUST CREDIT Washington Post

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended Rod Rosenstein on Thursday, saying he has "the highest confidence" in him one day after House conservatives introduced a resolution to impeach the deputy attorney general overseeing the special counsel Russian Federation investigation.

He also says Rosenstein's back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over document requests doesn't rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that would warrant impeachment under the Constitution. "There is vanishingly little chance that House leadership will let this toxic nonsense advance - Speaker Paul Ryan already has publicly smacked down the effort - and zero chance that the motion could amass anywhere close to the two-thirds support required for the Senate to actually remove Rosenstein." . "This resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein is a direct attack on the Special Counsel's investigation - full stop".

"There is absolutely no basis to impeach Rod Rosenstein". He filed the articles of impeachment along with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and nine other conservatives.

The impeachment resolution was filed by conservative Reps.

"I don't think we should be cavalier with this process or with this term", Ryan said.

Rosenstein's antagonists, however, led by Republicans Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of OH, have vowed that they will continue to pursue the effort and keep up their campaign against Rosenstein and the Justice Department, which they argue are stonewalling requests for information about the 2016 elections investigations.

"I want the documents and I'm not a big fan of drama, I like the documents", the South Carolina Republican said, explaining that he opposes impeachment because it's punishment and not a remedy to obtaining the documents in question.

Leaving the meeting, Meadows said he still had "great frustration" that the Justice Department had not complied with congressional subpoenas, although he declined at that point to comment on the prospect of impeaching Rosenstein.

Democrats meanwhile have accused Republicans of simply trying to discredit the FBI and undermine the Mueller investigation.

The resolution to impeach Rosenstein, which Meadows and his conservative allies have been threatening for weeks, is the strongest step that conservative allies of President Donald Trump have taken in their feud with Rosenstein and the Justice Department. Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign was in any way involved.

"The DOJ is keeping information from Congress", Jordan said. Ahead of a meeting with Republican House members earlier Wednesday, a DOJ official insisted that they have largely complied with the subpoenas, and are working on finding accommodations for the information and documents that still need to be turned over.

But Meadows said separately on Thursday that he doesn't intend to give up his push to get more information and more documents from the Justice Department. That includes four Trump campaign advisers.

Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Adam Schiff of California said Rosenstein "stands as one of the few restraints against the overreaches of the president and his allies in Congress".

The biggest unmet demand is providing lawmakers access to unredacted documents related to the Clinton investigation, which falls under the House Judiciary subpoena, the officials said.

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