Rod Rosenstein 'Hiding From Congress,' Says GOP Rep Who Wanted to Impeach Trump's Deputy Attorney General

The GOP lawmaker who led a campaign to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein accused him of "hiding from Congress" after a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee at which Rosenstein was scheduled to answer questions was canceled.

"Rod Rosenstein gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal today, after failing to show up in Congress last week to answer questions," tweeted Republican Representative Mark Meadows, who represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.

"By hiding from Congress and making time for media interviews, Mr. Rosenstein has made his priorities clear. It seems transparency isn't one of them."

Meadows, who is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, led the 11 House Republicans who introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein last July.

The group accused Rosenstein of having a conflict of interest relating to the authorization of a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Donald Trump; violating a congressional subpoena and ignoring information requests; and excessive redaction of documents.

But the group walked back its effort to impeach Rosenstein when it became clear it lacked enough support in the House to succeed. Instead, if the Department of Justice does not turn over the documents Congress is demanding, it will pursue Rosenstein for contempt.

Rosenstein is a target of Republican criticism because he has oversight over the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.

His job was also in doubt recently after The New York Times reported that he had suggested wearing a wire around Trump and spoke of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.

Rosenstein called the reports "factually inaccurate," and Trump did not fire him after the two met for talks.

The deputy attorney general was scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about reports that he wanted to wear a wire around Trump, but the meeting was abruptly canceled last week.

Representative Matt Gaetz had said he and Meadows were "prepared to call up his impeachment and force a vote" if Rosenstein did not agree to speak to the House Judiciary Committee.

Repesentative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the committee, threatened to subpoena Rosenstein unless he complied with its interview request, The Hill reported.

In his interview with The Wall Street Journal, Rosenstein defended the ongoing Mueller investigation, which has notched up a number of indictments, guilty pleas and convictions so far, including some to those who are closest to Trump, such as his former attorney Michael Cohen and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Trump has called the investigation a political "witch hunt," and his allies have called for its end.

"People are entitled to be frustrated. I can accept that," Rosenstein told the Journal. "But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources."

The Department of Justice did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Rod Rosenstein
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during at the National Conference on Medicaid of America's Health Insurance Plans on October 17 in Washington, D.C. Rosenstein was accused by a GOP lawmaker of "hiding from Congress." Alex Wong/Getty Images