How the Rest of Congress Reacted to Rosenstein Impeachment Articles

Resolution from 11 conservative House members unlikely to move

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and 10 other House Republican brought forth impeachment articles Wednesday against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats and a handful of Republicans responded quickly to oppose impeachment articles against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein brought forth by members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a founding member, introduced a resolution to impeach Rosenstein late Wednesday but did not file it as a privileged resolution to force a vote by the whole House.

Nine other House conservatives have inked their signatures on the resolution so far: Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Jody Hice of Georgia, Matt Gaetz and Bill Posey of Florida, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee and Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Democrats in both chambers panned the move as politically motivated and an obvious effort to undermine special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. It is extremely unlikely the impeachment proposal will move forward.

Watch: Both House Party Leaders Condemn Rosenstein Impeachment Before Meadows Pulls It

 “Trying to remove Rod Rosenstein from the Justice Department for failing to disclose sources, methods and evidence from an open criminal investigation is beyond the pale. This is partisan nonsense,” California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. “It’s dangerous for the rule of law and it needs to stop.”

Meadows and Jordan’s move is a “clear play to obstruct Mueller’s investigation,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said.

The New York Democrat urged the Senate to take up a bipartisan bill to shield Mueller from termination by the White House.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut echoed Gillibrand.

On the Republican side, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona voiced his disagreement with Meadows and the rest of his cohort who signed on to the impeachment documents.

Most House Republicans have not yet issued public statements on  impeaching Rosenstein, though it is unlikely many will support the measure.

GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine did not rebuke his colleagues for filing the resolution but said he does not support such a move.

“I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by Robert Mueller should run its course,” Poliquin tweeted.

California Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, did not hold back on Twitter, saying that “history will record these Members as willing accomplices in the most serious threat to the rule of law in a generation.”

Meadows’ impeachment proposal isn’t the first time House members have thrown out the “I” word since President Donald Trump took office.

Fifty-eight House Democrats voted to move forward with impeachment articles on the president last year, an effort that fell flat in the face of opposition from leadership in both parties.

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