GOP Freedom Caucus In US Congress Have Filed Impeachment Papers VS. AG Rosenstein

A long-simmering fissure between Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s top GOP allies in the US House, the Freedom Caucus members, has finally reached its boiling point as both sides fight over an effort to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, headed by the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. On the 25th of July, 2018 these members followed up on their threat to file for articles of impeachment against Mr. Rosenstein.

It is my opinion that this action by Freedom Caucus members is as a result of the GOP Committee members of the US House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee being embarrassed by negative news reporting when they held a joint committee hearing on July 12, 2018 as they interviewed the FBI agent who had texted unflattering messages about President Trump before being removed from key FBI investigations around July 2018. They were furious when they found out that they had been described by most media outlets’ reports as acting like unhinged, desperate persecutors in their attempts to humiliate the FBI agent Peter Strzok as a proxy for disparaging the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.

Mark Meadows is pictured. | AP Photo
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), right, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), its founding member, filed the articles of impeachment late Wednesday. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

As per the 7/17/18 Politico report by Rachel Blade and Kyle Cheney, “The Wisconsin Republican and retiring House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have stifled conservatives’ push in recent weeks to impeach Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian contacts with Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

“Gowdy scoffed at the suggestion on national television (7/16/18). And Ryan — who has long sought to avoid such confrontations with the Justice Department — told reporters Tuesday morning that DOJ is “now coming into compliance” with congressional subpoenas as part of lawmakers’ scrutiny into alleged FBI bias against Trump.”

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“But those comments drew a swift rebuke from conservative Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who are leading the impeachment campaign and argue that Rosenstein is slow-walking their oversight of the FBI. Meadows told reporters Tuesday morning that Ryan appeared misinformed about what Justice has and has not turned over.”

“I can tell you that I guess the speaker’s staff is not fully informing him of what DOJ’s actually complying with,” Meadows said.”

These impeachment filings against the US Department of Justice’s Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein will go nowhere, but this maneuver pleases President Trump’s base of voters. It gives the president’s supporters a reason to discount any law enforcement’s’ findings of the president’s complicity with Russian operators to attack the US elections’ infrastructure in 2016 in order to influence the outcome.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 24, 2018, Molly E. Reynolds of LawFare penned the following report, “Reading Between the Lines on House Efforts to Impeach Rod Rosenstein”

“Reports that a group of House conservatives—led by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus—are advocating the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have been circulating for months, but conflict over the issue has escalated. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have opposed the idea publicly, but that doesn’t appear to have dissuaded Meadows and his allies from pushing forward.”

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Mark Meadows of NC

“One of the reasons an impeachment resolution appeals to Rosenstein’s opponents is its procedural status. As Matt Glassman describes nicely here, impeachment resolutions can be considered under different procedures than most other matters in the House. In most situations, bringing something to the floor requires the support of House leaders. The discharge petition, as I wrote about on Lawfare in April, is an exception to this, and impeachment resolutions can be as well. With notice, any member can bring an impeachment resolution to the floor using a question of the privileges of the House; the minority leader can do so at any point. As defined in House Rule IX, questions of the privileges of the House involve “the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings.” Questions related to the powers delegated to the House by the Constitution often fall into this category; impeachment is one such issue.”

Rod Rosenstein is pictured. | Getty Images
ROD ROSENSTEIN /Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“A Rosenstein impeachment resolution wouldn’t be the first time that Freedom Caucus members and their allies turned to a question of the privileges of the House to make a point or exert leverage. The motion to vacate the chair that members used to threaten Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2015 is such a question of the privileges of the House. The 2016 effort to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was another such effort. And while they involve a different chamber and different procedures, efforts by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to force a vote on U.S. involvement in Yemen arose from a similar impulse: When rank-and-file members cannot work through ordinary, leadership-approved channels to achieve certain goals, they are apt to engage in procedural mischief to accomplish the same ends. There is clearly demand from some rank-and-file House members for an even more aggressive posture in opposition to Rosenstein, and the procedural status of an impeachment resolution makes an attractive tool in pursuit of that goal.”


“Importantly, as Glassman also explains, a resolution impeaching Rosenstein, if introduced, wouldn’t necessarily make it as far as a final vote in the House. Impeachment resolutions reaching the House floor via a question of the privileges of the House are relatively rare; according to the Congressional Research Service, four did so between 1995 and 2014, and all were dispatched on procedural votes. The most recent examples—the resolution directed at Koskinen and two offered by Al Green (D-Tex.), targeting President Trump, in December 2017 and January 2018—met a similar procedural fate. The skepticism Ryan and Gowdy expressed is likely to carry over to many other rank-and-file Republicans, and Democrats would probably join a core group of GOP leadership allies in dispensing with the impeachment resolution procedurally. Senate Republicans also appear unconvinced that pursuing impeachment has merit; Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) described the idea as “pretty far-fetched” last week.”

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In other words, the actual impeachment of Rosenstein is unlikely, but the effort speaks to an important political dynamic facing House Republicans. Certainly, the substance represents another piece of the attempt by some congressional Republicans to undermine the Russia investigation and the FBI.  But politically, this effort—like many issues prioritized by the Freedom Caucus and its allies—has the potential to play a role in a broader fight looming on Capitol Hill: the race to replace Ryan as the House Republican leader. The two top contenders to succeed Ryan—Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)—have an incentive to be solicitous toward the right flank of their caucus. Their behavior in recent weeks has borne this out; McCarthy, for example, has supported efforts by conservatives to hold a vote on a resolution compelling the Justice Department to hand over documents related to FBI investigations during the 2016 campaign. Scalise, meanwhile, was a major proponent of a plan—ultimately squashed by Ryan—to bring an “Abolish ICE” bill sponsored by Democrats to the floor as a way of forcing members to go on the record on the issue. The internal politics of the House Republican conference—intensified by the leadership race—have the potential to shape how the party maneuvers over the next several months on Rosenstein specifically and the FBI and Justice Department more generally.


  1. Oh my god! The GOP has finally lost it’s mind… they have another thing coming if they think firing Rosenstein will get rid of Mueller. Trump should really leave well enough alone… digging his ditch deeper by the day.


    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      This GOP maneuver is DOA. The freedom caucus group were catering to an audience of one and his base of voters.

      No one will be getting rid of AG Rosenstein on the basis of this poorly crafted document.

      Hugs, Gronda


  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    Another aspect of this move that has not been discussed is tRump using this action of the Freedom Caucus to claim he has lost confidence in Rosenstein due to his not cooperating with Congress. This administration is becoming more desperate as each piece of information drips out to the press and his illegal actions are exposed. Much like a cornered animal he will lash out in an attempt to survive…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      You are so right. These articles of impeachment are DOA. But they were filed in support of one person, President Trump.

      The witches are coming out in droves to drive Mr. Bolton crazy, Just this week, he made his claim that the FBI Trump-Russia probe was nothing but a witch hunt.

      He’ll have no credibility left.

      Hugs, Gronda


    • @ crusty,

      Is this suppose to be a glimpse of the future? I can’t imagine the DOW @ 30K, economy that robust with all these current sanctions, and Ms Warren the best we can do??? That’s why I can’t foresee Trump re-elected in 2020, total fantasy! It is an entertaining read, but never going to happen IMHO!


    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      This satire is frightening but it needed to be said and it is. The democratic leadership simply needs to get out of the way. A socialist democrat can win in NY but a conservative democrat in another region can prevail. The candidates should be addressing the concerns of the region they plan to represent.

      One size does not fit all areas equally. And you’ve got the picture. But the working stiff has to be front and center with democrats running for any elected office.

      Hugs, Gronda


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