Rod Rosenstein Responds to Impeachment Articles: Justice Department 'Is Not Going to Be Extorted'

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, on Tuesday responded to articles of impeachment that President Donald Trump's allies in the House drafted against him, insisting that the Department of Justice "is not going to be extorted."

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"There are people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," Rosenstein said at a talk at Newseum to mark Law Day. "We're going to do what is required by rule of law and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job."

Members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus recently completed a draft of the articles that The Washington Post published on Monday. The group alleged that Rosenstein and the Justice Department were withholding documents about the decisions made by officials involved in the Russia probe and other investigations.

The articles are "a last resort option, if the Department of Justice fails to respond" to the information requests, caucus leader Representative Mark Meadows told the Post.

On Tuesday, Rosenstein, who had previously been silent on the matter, said: "I just don't have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and that leak in that way."

The deputy attorney general, who Trump has reportedly considered firing in recent weeks, added that all 115,000 employees in the Justice Department take an oath.

"If they violate it, they know they're going to be held accountable," Rosenstein said. "And I know those folks know that I'm not going to violate my oath."

The impeachment articles against Rosenstein are unlikely to gain much support in Congress, but the move could be seen as a way to intimidate him or justify his removal from office if Trump ultimately opts to cast him aside.