Fox News obtained emails describing a meeting where Rosenstein appeared to threaten members of the Intelligence Committee with a subpoena as a response to demands for intelligence from the DOJ.
Fox News’ legal analyst Greg Jarrett tweeted about the accusations way back in February:
Abuse of power continues still at the Department of Justice. As I reported last night on Hannity, a highly reliable congressional source tells me that 3 weeks ago, on January 10, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used the power of his office to threaten Members of Congress.— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
In a meeting with Chairman Devin Nunes, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others, the source says that Rosenstein threatened to subpoena the texts and emails of Congress because he was”tired of dealing with the Intelligence Committee.” If true, Rosenstein must resign or be fired— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
It is a crime for a government official to use his office to threaten anyone, including a member of Congress, for exercising a constitutionally protected right. See 18 USC 242 and other similar abuse of power statutes.— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
Nunes was exercising his constitutional oversight authority by investigating alleged wrongdoing in the FBI and DOJ. Rosenstein, according to the source, threatened to use his power to retaliate against Nunes and others in an effort to intimidate them and stop their legal efforts— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
Again, if true, Rosenstein’s action was an illegal abuse of power and he should no longer serve as Deputy Attorney General. He allegedly used threats to try to stop the Intelligence Committee from exposing wrongful behavior in an attempt to cover it up.— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
A 2nd source has now confirmed to me that, in a meeting on January 10, Deputy A-G Rosenstein used the power of his office to threaten to subpoena the calls & texts of the Intel Committee to get it to stop it’s investigation of DOJ and FBI. Likely an Abuse of Power & Obstruction.— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) February 3, 2018
But they just recently obtained emails describing the interaction.
More from Fox News:
The emails memorialized a January 2018 closed-door meeting involving senior FBI and Justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened to turn the tables on the committee’s inquiries regarding the Russia probe.
“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee’s then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”
A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. … Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to ‘subpoena your calls and emails’ was downright chilling.”
I have seen Jarrett prevaricate about a lot so I don’t trust him much – but if they have these emails and it happened the way it happened, then it seems pretty heinous.
The DOJ is denying it:
“The FBI disagrees with a number of characterizations of the meeting as described in the excerpts of a staffer’s emails provided to us by Fox News,” the FBI said in a statement.
A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said the department and bureau officials in the room “are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false,” adding that Rosenstein was responding to a threat of contempt.
But I mean, of course they would. So this would be pretty hard evidence that Rosenstein and his crew are willing to commit illegal acts to cover their butts. If it happened as the emails say….