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 failures cited within the articles include intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the FISA process, and failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas, among others.
But the lawmakers who backed the impeachment efforts - filing the articles in a form that could not force a vote in the House - never meant to pressure Republicans to take a tough public vote on whether or not Rosenstein should be impeached.
Sessions, meanwhile, said in Boston on Thursday that Rosenstein is capable and that he enjoys Sessions' "highest confidence".
"This year's push to impeach Rosenstein is about as likely to succeed as a campaign to make Roseanne Barr the next head of the NAACP". Conservative members led by Reps.
The impeachment articles stated that Rosenstein refused to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the surveillance of Carter Page.
"I hope that they lay down a gauntlet and show these folks that we're not just going to accept this", Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., told ABC News.
"I want the documents and I'm not a big fan of drama, I like the documents", the South Carolina Republican said, explaining that he opposes impeachment because it's punishment and not a remedy to obtaining the documents in question. Even under subpoena, the Deputy Attorney General has refused to produce necessary documents, because they implicate top Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, including himself.
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"It is a panicked and risky attempt to undermine an ongoing criminal investigation in an effort to protect President Trump as the walls are closing in around him and his associates", the statement read, in part.
"Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein?"
"The DOJ is keeping information from Congress", Jordan said.
Rosenstein, the No 2 official at the Justice Department, has become a frequent punchbag for supporters of President Donald Trump for appointing Mueller to investigate whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"While the absurd threat to impeach Rod Rosenstein will undoubtedly fail, using the Department of Justice as a prop for political theater does lasting damage to this vital democratic institution".
Democrats have charged that House conservatives are targeting Rosenstein in an effort to undermine the larger Mueller investigation and protect President Donald Trump. In response to the measure, Democrats Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., issued a statement calling it a "direct attack" on Robert Mueller's investigation.
It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for lawmakers to demand documents that are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
"Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have repeatedly ignored Congressional requests and subpoenas, showing a complete disregard for Congressional oversight authority". Ahead of a meeting with Republican House members earlier Wednesday, a DOJ official insisted that they have largely complied with the subpoenas, and are working on finding accommodations for the information and documents that still need to be turned over. "Removing Mr. Rosenstein from office is the only option left to Congress".