House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Thursday that lawmakers in recent days have "learned" information that warrants Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to step down "immediately."
“Based on additional information we've learned over the last week, it is clear Rod Rosenstein should resign immediately,” Meadows, R-N.C., tweeted Thursday afternoon. “He has not cooperated with Congress, failed to be transparent about his actions, and shown a lack of candor in the way he's characterized a number of events.”
Based on additional information we've learned over the last week, it is clear Rod Rosenstein should resign immediately.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) October 18, 2018
He has not cooperated with Congress, failed to be transparent about his actions, and shown a lack of candor in the way he's characterized a number of events.
The comment came after lawmakers met for a second time in recent weeks with the ex-top lawyer at the FBI, James Baker, who was expected to answer questions about reports that he talked about secretly recording President Trump, among other issues.
Rosenstein, who denies he ever considered wearing a wire or looking into the use of the 25th Amendment as the New York Times had reported, was tentatively set to meet with GOP lawmakers last week to discuss the report. However, last week's meeting was postponed, and a House Judiciary Committee aide told the Washington Examiner at the time they are working to confirm a potential meeting.
Some Republicans were upset Rosenstein wouldn't be on Capitol Hill, calling for a subpoena, and Trump said he was "surprised" he wouldn't appear.
Rosenstein irked GOP lawmakers by participating an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, where he claimed Mueller’s investigation is “appropriate and independent.”
"Mr. Rosenstein’s actions speak for themselves," Meadows said in a statement later Thursday. "He has made his priorities clear — and it seems transparency isn't one of them."
"Even as he declines to show up before Congress last week and answer questions, he makes plenty of time for media interviews in the same breath," Meadows said.
[Byron York: Rosenstein talks to press, but not to Congress; Republicans irate]
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, expressed similar sentiments.
"It was interesting that yesterday, Rod Rosenstein has time to sit down with the Wall Street Journal, do a big, long interview, where he said the Mueller investigation is appropriate and moving in the right direction,” Jordan said Thursday. “And yet, he can't come talk to Congress about the idea that he made a statement about recording the president of the United States?"
Rosenstein is overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
Trump has repeatedly condemned Mueller’s probe and has labeled it a “witch hunt.” Despite Trump’s criticism and media reports that Trump has considered ousting Rosenstein, Trump claimed last week that the two “actually have a good relationship.”