Freedom Caucus Leaders Criticize Limitations On Rod Rosenstein Testimony

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Two Republican lawmakers who have led the push to Rod Rosenstein to appear on Capitol Hill are criticizing an agreement that allows the deputy attorney general to testify behind closed doors before a limited number of lawmakers.

“Totally unacceptable,” is how Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan described the agreement between Rosenstein and the chairmen of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees.

“This is just another example of the double standard where there’s one set of rules for us regular folk but a different set if you’re part of the politically connected class,” Jordan told The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Rod Rosenstein Set To Testify Before Congress)

“There should be NO double standard. Show up and tell the truth under the same conditions as everyone else,” North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows said on Twitter.

Jordan and Meadows were responding to an announcement from Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the chairmen of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, respectively, that Rosenstein will appear Oct. 24 for a transcribed, closed-door interview.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), left, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), arrive for a Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), left, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), arrive for a Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The agreement limits the number of lawmakers in the interview to four: Goodlatte, Gowdy and the top two Democrats on the respective committees, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.

That means that Jordan and Meadows, who have been among Rosenstein’s staunchest critics, will not be allowed to press the DOJ no. 2 over allegations that in May 2017, he offered to wear a wire during meetings with President Donald Trump.

The allegation was made in memos written by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe also claimed that Rosenstein suggested using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Rosenstein has said he was joking about wearing a wire and never discussed deposing Trump. For his part, Trump appears to have accepted Rosenstein’s story. Trump has said that after speaking with Rosenstein about the allegations, he has no plans to fire the DOJ no. 2, who is overseeing the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

“The guy who’s running the Justice Department doesn’t get to tell a separate equal branch of government the conditions for his testimony, especially when it’s been alleged he was thinking bout recording the Commander in Chief and then invoking the 25th Amendment,” Jordan told TheDCNF.

Jordan and Meadows, both members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, have also queried Rosenstein’s role in approving a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant authorizing surveillance against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Rosenstein signed off on the fourth and final FISA warrant against Page in June 2017.

The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier in applications for the FISA warrants.

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