Last night The Daily Wire reported the following:
House Republicans filed a resolution to impeach United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, citing the Justice Department’s lack of transparency and obstruction of congressional oversight.
“I just filed a resolution with Jim Jordan and several colleagues to impeach Rod Rosenstein,” Meadows wrote on Twitter. “The DOJ has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight–even defying multiple Congressional subpoenas.”
The lack of transparency is not the only problem–Rod Rosenstein signed one of the FISA warrants. He might be totally conflicted in deciding what documents to turn over to Congress.
The saga continues. Yahoo News reported today:
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday rejected a move by fellow Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, who oversees the federal probe of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
“Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not,” said Ryan, whose stance could make it easier for other Republican members to oppose the measure.
This is not a surprise. Paul Ryan will be stepping down from his role as Speaker and probably looking for a job in Washington. Although I believe the impeachment of Rosenstein would be appropriate (for conflict of interest as much as anything else), I don’t think Paul Ryan is willing to do anything that might rock the boat right now. He wants to stay friends with everyone. (That is probably why he should resign today!)
On Tuesday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner which outlined a solution to this whole sordid mess.
The article points out:
While the lawmakers support maximum declassification, they also gave the president another option: declassify two key sections of the application that Republicans believe are particularly revealing. In the letter, the GOP committee members made a very specific request.
“To enable the public to understand the DOJ’s and FBI’s basis for obtaining the FISA warrant and three subsequent renewals,” the lawmakers wrote, “we respectfully request that you declassify and release publicly, and in unredacted form, pages 10-12 and 17-34, along with all associated footnotes, of the third renewal of the FISA application on Mr. Page. The renewal was filed in June 2017 and signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”
So what is on pages 10-12 and 17-34? That is certainly a tantalizing clue dropped by the House Intel members, but it’s not clear what it means. Comparing the relevant sections from the initial FISA application, in October 2016, and the third renewal, in June 2017, much appears the same, but in pages 10-12 of the third renewal there is a slightly different headline — “The Russian Government’s Coordinated Efforts to Influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election” — plus a footnote, seven lines long, that was not in the original application.
As for pages 17-34, there appear to be, in the third renewal, new text and footnotes throughout the section headlined “Page’s Coordination with Russian Government Officials on 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Influence Activities.” (That is the same headline as the original application.) The Republican lawmakers ask that it be unredacted in its entirety, suggesting they don’t believe revealing it would compromise any FBI sources or methods.
Clearly, the GOP lawmakers believe pages 10-12 and 17-34 contain critical information, so it seems likely that the release of those pages would affect the current public debate over the FISA application. That would, in turn, lead to charges that the Republicans were cherry-picking the application and did not want the public to see information that undercuts their position.
Which is why the application should be released in its entirety, or as closely to its entirety as is possible. Will that happen? At the moment, it appears the only person who can answer that question is Trump.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.