Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to Meet With House Republicans

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to meet with House Republicans next week to explain his reported comments about wearing a wire while talking with President Donald Trump and recruiting members of Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte invited Rosenstein to meet with House Republicans sometime during the next two weeks. According to CNN, a Justice Department official said Rosenstein and the Republican senator spoke Thursday evening and have agreed to meet in the next few weeks.

“There are many questions we have for Mr. Rosenstein, including questions about allegations made against him in a recent news article,” Goodlatte said in statement released Friday. “We need to get to the bottom of these very serious claims.”

Freedom Caucus leaders, Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, said they believed that the Deputy AG would be coming in to for a transcribed interview as part of the congressional investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations.

“I thought it was a transcribed interview with both Republicans and Democrats there. I thought it would be the same format we've used before,” Jordan said.

“Leadership has agreed to call Rod Rosenstein before Congress, for a closed-door hearing with our panel investigating, so he can explain his alleged comments on 'wiring' POTUS--as well as other inconsistent statements,” Meadows wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “If Mr. Rosenstein fails to show up, we will subpoena him.”

Democrats, however, has raised concerned about not being included in this meeting with Rosenstein.

“There is no such thing as a ‘closed, private hearing,’” Rep. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted Friday morning. “The @HouseGOP cannot be left alone in a room with DAG Rosenstein.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, whose committee has worked with the Judiciary Committee on the FBI investigation, told Democrats that they were “encouraged to attend,” although it would not be a full committee meeting with Rosenstein.

The Deputy AG’s future at the Justice Department appeared to be in jeopardy following multiple news outlets reported that, at a May 2017 meeting, Rosenstein and then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Deputy AG suggested that McCabe and others wear a wire while talking to Trump, according to memos McCabe made regarding the conversation, ABC News reports.

According to sources, that meeting took place the week after abrupt dismissal of James Comey as FBI Director.

The memos also stated that Rosenstein told McCabe that he could recruit members of Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. Rosenstein allegedly said he believed he could persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to agree, according to sources.

Goodlatte issued a subpoena for the memos from McCabe, CNN reports.

Rosenstein, in a statement on Friday, insisted he “never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.”

The Deputy AG originally had a meeting scheduled with Trump at the White House this past Thursday, but the president postponed the meeting until next week so it would not distract from the testimony of his Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, before the Senate Judiciary Committee.