US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he won’t be ‘extorted’ into shutting down Trump-Russia collusion inquiry
House Republicans have drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, who oversees Robert Mueller’s investigation, because he won’t give them documents they want
US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation by a special counsel, dismissed those trying to intimidate him after a group of House Republicans drafted articles of impeachment against him.
“There are people who have been making threats, privately and publicly, against me for quite some time,” Rosenstein said at a Law Day event Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington.
“I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. We’re going to do what’s required by the rule of law.”
“Any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job,” he said.
Rosenstein has been under withering attack by some House Republicans and US President Donald Trump for his role in overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal criminal investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election and whether the president sought to obstruct the inquiry.
Some members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, led by Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, drafted a version of articles of impeachment in the last week, according to a person familiar with the document. Meadows is one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress and talks to him by phone several times a week.
The draft cites Rosenstein’s failure to turn over internal Justice Department documents that the Republicans have demanded about the origin of the Trump investigation.
It also talks about documents they have demanded from the FBI’s investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“They can’t even resist leaking their own draft,” Rosenstein said. He said the department isn’t going to open its doors and allow Congress to “rummage through” files that might result in a violation of privacy or law.
“The way we operate in the Department of Justice is, if we’re going to accuse somebody of wrongdoing, we have to have admissible evidence, credible witnesses, we have to be prepared to prove our case in court and we have to affix our signature to the charging document,” Rosenstein said.