by Chuck Ross
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Saturday that he will subpoena Rod Rosenstein “very soon” if the deputy attorney general does not agree to an on-the-record interview with Congress.
“[Rosenstein] has not agreed to come for a transcribed interview on the record. He needs to agree to do that. If he does not agree to do that very soon, I will issue a subpoena for him to appear,” GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
Goodlatte and other Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees want to interview Rosenstein about reports that in May 2017 he suggested wearing a wire during meetings with President Donald Trump.
Republicans on the committees also want to ask Rosenstein about the FBI’s handling of the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Republican lawmakers believe that the FBI misled judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by relying heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Rosenstein signed off on the fourth and final surveillance warrant in June 2017.
.@RepGoodlatte: “[Rod Rosenstein] has not agreed to come for a transcribed interview on the record. He needs to agree to do that, if he does not agree to do that very soon, I will issue a subpoena for him to appear.” pic.twitter.com/RiREsW3Vr5
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 13, 2018
Rosenstein was expected to testify to Congress on Thursday, but those plans fell through at the last minute. One Republican lawmaker seeking Rosenstein’s testimony said that the Department of Justice official likely feels emboldened after a meeting he had Monday with Trump.
Trump said after the meeting that he has no plans to fire Rosenstein over reports that he offered to wear a wire. Rosenstein has said that he was joking about spying on Trump. Another Justice Department official told reporters that Rosenstein was making a sarcastic remark in response to a request from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to open an investigation of Trump after the firing of James Comey as FBI director.
McCabe wrote a memo in which he said that Rosenstein was serious about wearing a wire. McCabe also claimed that Rosenstein suggested using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
James Baker, the FBI general counsel at the time, told Congress on Oct. 3 that McCabe and McCabe’s assistant, Lisa Page, took Rosenstein’s comments seriously.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Chuck on Twitter.