With the Tension Growing, Will the House Impeach Rod Rosenstein?
From the perspective of key members in the House, the DOJ’s Rod Rosenstein has been slow-walking or hindering the House’s oversight of the DOJ and the FBI. These members of the House:
- Rep. Trey Gowdy, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte, House Judiciary Committee Chairman
- Rep. Devin Nunes, House Intelligence Committee Chairman
have all indicated in their own words that the DOJ and the FBI are not responding in an effective and timely manner with Congress’ need for information on the Clinton email server investigation and on the circumstances surrounding the so-called Trump campaign and Russian collusion investigation.
After an important meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan last Friday, it appears that the House leadership is now on-board to take action, if they don’t get compliance with the subpoenas issued so far. In Trey Gowdy’s words: “We’re going to get compliance, or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance“. Note: Bold face type added to the quote to emphasize importance of the words to readers.
What’s in the Full Arsenal of their Constitutional Weapons?
Here are the possibilities that the House can take against the DOJ and FBI for failing to honor their oversight subpoena:
- “Sense of the House” resolution
- Contempt of Congress citation
- Impeachment of officials failing to comply with the subpoenas
The first option is a simple statement of Congress that they are upset with the situation. It is meant to put further pressure on the officials not honoring their subpoena requests for oversight information.
The third option is a vote by the House that is in essence an indictment of an official. The Senate would then need to hold a trial and an official would be removed from office with a vote of two-thirds of the Senate.
But, what does the second option mean?
What Does a Contempt of Congress Citation Mean?
There are actually two possibilities. First, the contempt citation can typically be given over to the U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. However, in the recent past, DOJ has failed to prosecute those cases. Technically, someone can be fined and/or jailed for Contempt of Congress.
However, there is another Constitutional alternative. Congress can hold its own trial for “inherent contempt.” It does not have to wait for a DOJ prosecution.
Rod Rosenstein Might Think Congress is Weak …
It’s possible that because Congress has not pursued its Constitutional power in the recent past that Rod Rosenstein can think he can ignore Congress.
But, the Current DOJ and FBI Investigations Might Be So Egregious that …
Congress will take action soon.
The information uncovered thus far makes it appear that some members of the DOJ and FBI were so biased that key officials of the DOJ and FBI attempted to influence a presidential election by allowing Hillary Clinton to skate free from her email server actions, and to build a collusion case against Trump as an “insurance policy” against his election and potential administration.
What’s Next in the House – Rosenstein Standoff?
The House has Constitutional authority to conduct oversight over Executive agencies. I think it likely that Rosenstein will be impeached rather than comply with the House subpoena requests.
An interesting question to ask is: Why?
Why is Rosenstein going to all this trouble to avoid providing Congress with the underlying facts in these two investigations? Who or what is he protecting?
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