The move sets up a showdown with House Republican leaders, who have distanced themselves from calls to remove the deputy attorney general.
Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, in a move that marks a dramatic escalation in the battle over the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The effort, spearheaded by Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), also sets up a showdown with House Republican leaders, who have distanced themselves from calls to remove Rosenstein from office. But Meadows and Jordan stopped short of forcing an immediate vote on the measure, sparing Republican lawmakers for now from a potential dilemma.
“I just filed a resolution with @Jim_Jordan and several colleagues to impeach Rod Rosenstein. The DOJ has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight — even defying multiple Congressional subpoenas,” Meadows said in a tweet announcing the move. “We have had enough.”
Meadows and Jordan are leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a bloc whose members have been among the most persistent critics of Rosenstein.
House Republicans have been ramping up their attacks on the deputy attorney general in recent weeks, accusing him of withholding documents and being insufficiently transparent in his handling of the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Democrats have argued that House Republicans’ clashes with Rosenstein are little more than a pretext to weaken Mueller’s efforts.