Things got very combative on Capitol Hill today when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dealt with an aggressive line of questioning from Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) over the Department of Justice’s transparency.
Congressional Republicans have been lambasting the DOJ recently for their hesitance in turning over classified records and documents pertaining to their use of secret surveillance in 2016. As such, when Jordan got his turn to ask questions to Rosenstein and FBI director Chris Wray, he cut right to the chase and asked:
“Why are you keeping information from Congress?”
Rosenstein denied that to be the case, which prompted Jordan to give a fiery declaration that “in a few minutes” the House will go “on record” and say the deputy AG has failed to comply their records request. As Rosenstein continued to refute the accuracy of Jordan’s statement, the congressman insisted Rosenstein has indeed been holding out.
“It is accurate!” Jordan said. “We have caught you hiding information!”
After the House Judiciary Committee briefly debated whether Jordan was out of order by steamrolling Rosenstein, the congressman resumed his questioning and asked the deputy AG why he redacted information pertaining to Peter Strzok. Rosenstein pushed back by saying Jordan was resorting to “personal attacks” against him, that he was not working to conceal information through redactions, and did not gag Strzok from answering questions during his own hearing yesterday.
Eventually, Jordan invoked media reports by asking Rosenstein if he ever “[threatened] staffers on the House Intelligence Committee” by subpoenaing their phone calls and emails. Rosenstein pointed out that “there is no way to subpoena phone calls,” which drew laughter from around the room.
It all went further downhill from there.
UPDATE: Shortly after this exchange, the House successfully passed a resolution demanding that the DOJ produce sensitive documents pertaining to Robert Mueller‘s probe and the FBI’s 2016 investigations.
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