A handful of conservative members of Congress officially introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday in a move that had been threatened for weeks. The articles were introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, along with 9 cosponsors.
Meadows and Jordan have long been critical of Rosenstein and the Justice Department, saying the department has failed to comply with Congress' demands for unredacted records about the Russia investigation. Rosenstein has overseen the special counsel's probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.
The lawmakers did not file the articles as a "privileged resolution," a move that would have forced Republican leadership to consider the measure within two legislative days. Meadows and Jordan could still force the issue on Thursday before lawmakers head home for the House's month-long August recess. Such a move would mean leaders would have to bring a vote to table the measure, or cancel or delay the recess.
The Republicans have particularly expressed concern over the surveillance of onetime Trump campaign aide. The introduction of the articles of impeachment comes shortly after the DOJ released the applications for surveillance warrants filed under the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.
"With Attorney General Sessions' recusal, Rod Rosenstein has been in charge of the Department of Justice as the agency has made every effort to obstruct legitimate attempts of congressional oversight," Meadows said in a statement, adding that it's "time to find a new deputy attorney general who is serious about accountability and transparency."
Jordan said "enough is enough" and it's "time to hold Mr. Rosenstein accountable for blocking Congress' constitutional oversight role."
The other Republicans introducing the articles of impeachment are Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee.
The Justice Department declined to comment.