Politics

Nunes, Meadows Threaten to Impeach DOJ, FBI Officials Over Russia Documents

Reps give Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray a Wednesday deadline to turn over unredacted copy

Devin Nunes, R-Calif., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol. Nunes told FBI and Justice Department officials to hand over the document that launched the Russia investigation or face impeachment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Devin Nunes and Mark Meadows both said they are prepared to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray if they do not produce the document that started the investigation into President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia in the 2016 election.

Congress put out a subpoena on the initial report that launched the Russia investigation in August, but the FBI has not yet released an unredacted version of the document. Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, set Wednesday as the deadline for officials to turn over the documents before he makes a decision on contempt and impeachment.

“We’re not going to just hold in contempt, we will have a plan to hold in contempt and to impeach,” Nunes told Fox News on Tuesday night.

The document lawmakers are demanding details what launched the FBI probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign. It contained information that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, told an Austrian diplomat that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to a report from The New York Times.

Senators already put a deadline on getting the documents for last week, but neither the Justice Department nor the FBI responded. Meadows, the House Freedom Caucus chairman, told Fox News Saturday that impeachment was a “tool” provided to Congress by the Constitution that could be use if Rosenstein continues to withhold the papers.

“The deadline came and went, all we got is a phone call,” Meadows said. “If he does not turn over the documents, there are a growing number of us on Capitol Hill who believe someone else needs to do the job.”

Trump called out Rosenstein in a tweet Wednesday morning on the Russia investigation, saying he and special counsel Robert Mueller were “conflicted” and that the investigation was causing “bad blood” with Russia. Mueller has headed the Russia investigation since Trump fired FBI director James Comey last May.

Trump tweeted the investigation was “headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama.” Rosenstein, Mueller and Comey are all Republicans.

Congress has the power to impeach Rosenstein and Wray for contempt, as they failed to answer the subpoena. But Nunes said the final decision on contempt and impeachment is up to Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Ryan said Rosenstein and Mueller “should be allowed to do their jobs” at the Wednesday press conference where he announced his plans to retire.

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