As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was indicting Russian hackers, Trump's allies in Congress were scheming to oust him.
Although Republicans have wanted to get rid of Rosenstein for weeks, they appear to be seriously ramping up their efforts in preparation for an imminent move.
According to Politico, "House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, in fact, had the impeachment document on the floor of the House at the very moment that Rosenstein spoke to reporters and TV cameras Friday."
Meadows and fellow Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan are spearheading the push to impeach Rosenstein. Both are staunch allies of Trump who have used their positions in Congress to try to obstruct, corrupt, and shut down the Russia probe.
Politico reports that Republicans put "the finishing touches" on documents to impeach Rosenstein on Friday. A source told the publication that the impeachment documents could be filed as early as Monday.
When contacted by Politico, a spokesman for Meadows declined to rule out if it would be filed next week.
In April, CNN reported that the White House was preparing a smear campaign aimed at undermining Rosenstein’s credibility. As part of that effort, Trump reportedly planned to use his allies in Congress and right-wing media to go after Rosenstein, hoping to build a case for ousting him without it looking like an act of obstruction.
Republicans claim that Rosenstein is improperly refusing their demands for certain internal DOJ documents concerning aspects of the Russia investigation and the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe.
While Congress has the authority to request such documents, the DOJ does not have to blindly hand over evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation — particularly when there are legitimate concerns that sensitive information will be leaked to the public or to the White House.
Rosenstein made this exact point in May, saying that the department isn’t going to just open the doors and let Congress "rummage through" files. Doing so might even violate DOJ policies or laws, he said, and in some cases could risk lives.
Still, Republicans haven't let up on their attacks against him, and even a dozen new indictments against Russians who attacked our electoral process aren't slowing them down. Clearly, protecting Trump is more important to them than protecting the country.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.