Led by leaders Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), along nine co-sponsors, members of the House Freedom Caucus announced that they are bringing articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Their reasoning, document production which they view as unacceptable conduct.
The five articles say a variety of different accusations against Rosenstein. However, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Article I accuses Rosenstein of failing to recuse himself. This is false, because of the investigation he was supposed to leave doesn’t exist. Article II and IV accuse the Deputy Attorney General of redacting key information that law enforcement deems as sensitive. That may be true, but the Justice Department and its agencies have had this policy for decades. Where was the Freedom Caucus in the past when this policy did not fit their narrative?
Article III accuses Rosenstein of “unnecessary redaction” which other members of the House, including some Republicans, have disputed. As of right now, the DOJ has released over 880,000 pages that have been requested. Furthermore, Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said this after meeting with DOJ officials this week.
“You’re talking to two former federal prosecutors who want the documents and not the drama,” he said. “We won’t be the two best quote machines. here are legitimate issues that have to work through as it relates to compliance. And the department may have a position that we need to hear, and we heard it today,” Gowdy said, calling it an “evolutionary process.”
Finally, Article V states that Rosenstein supervised the FISA warrants and events in 2016 and 2017. The problem there is that Rosenstein was not in charge. James Comey was during the Obama Administration. Rosenstein, who was appointed by President Trump, signed on months after.
As Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in the National Review, “while the GOP-controlled Congress was delighted to huff and puff about (Eric) Holder in conservative media, it had no stomach to take on Obama. Rosenstein and Wray work for Trump. And they are not Obama holdovers; they are Trump appointees. If they are defying Congress, it is because the president is permitting them to do so. Twitter tantrums and dark deep-state conspiracy theories don’t count; the president is empowered give his subordinates a direct order to comply with Congress’s demands and to fire them immediately if they fail to do so. The president has the unilateral authority to disclose executive-branch files to lawmakers, including classified documents. Trump could have done this any time in the last 18 months.”
The articles of impeachment on Rosenstein is simply cheap kabuki theater. The August recess is about to start, this is about politicians being able to go back to their constituents and say look at me, look what I’ve done for you, look how awesome I am. This is also about public perception and fundraising. These members are not even forcing House leadership’s hand to call a vote. The impeachment resolution introduced was not “privileged,” which would have actually forced a vote. Additionally, Gowdy did not sign off on these impeachments, nor did other House leaders.
While the game plays out, real problems are not being solved. We have a national debt of over $19 trillion. Entitlement programs are going bankrupt and we have no long-term plan to stop cyber attacks. Instead of a public relations stunt, I would like Republican members of the House to focus on lower spending, smaller government, free trade policies, and a strong national defense. Sadly, it seems like those conservatives only exist when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office.