Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders

Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

“Even more importantly, based on further information we’ve learned over the last week, it’s also clear Mr. Rosenstein has shown a lack of candor in the way he characterized his involvement in a number of events to Congressional investigators,” the North Carolina Republican said in a statement. “Repeatedly, he has declined opportunities to come before Congress and tell the truth.”

Several Judiciary and Oversight members thought Rosenstein was going to appear before the panels Oct. 11, but the date was never officially agreed to as Rosenstein allegedly did not want to sit for a transcribed interview before the full committees but offered to do a briefing instead

Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy announced later Wednesday that Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview that they will conduct with Judiciary ranking members Jerold Nadler and Oversight ranking member Elijah E. Cummings.

The only other person will who be present for the interview besides Rosenstein and the four committee leaders will be a court reporter. 

That means Meadows, Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan and other hard-line conservatives who have been vocal participants in the investigations will not be able to question Rosenstein. 

The interview will be conducted under oath. The transcript of the proceeding will be released to the public after a review by the intelligence community to scrub any classified information.

Much of the interview is expected to focus on a New York Times report that alleged Rosenstein wanted to secretly record President Donald Trump and had talked about trying to force him out by invoking the 25th Amendment.

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