While President Donald Trump mulls over firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, another threat to Rosenstein is shaping up by way of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
Nunes threatened Tuesday that he would initiate impeachment proceedings against both Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray if they miss another deadline for handing over the document that started the Russia probe.
“We’re not going to just hold in contempt, we will have a plan to hold in contempt and impeach,” Nunes said on Fox News.
Nunes is furious with the agencies over attempts to obtain the two-page document the FBI used to initiate its probe of the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts. That document, which The New York Times reported on in December, revealed that the probe was launched because of an intelligence tip that George Papadopoulos, a campaign foreign policy aide, had revealed to an Australian diplomat that Russia had obtained dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Nunes set a new deadline for Wednesday and indicated that the move to hold Rosenstein and Wray in contempt or impeach them would be determined by whether or not they comply.
A move to impeach two top officials at the Justice Department — both appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate — would be an extraordinary confrontation between Congress and federal law enforcement. Several of Nunes’ colleagues have endorsed holding Rosenstein and Wray in contempt of Congress — and some have called for their removal — but impeachment by Congress would be a further escalation. As of late Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan had not considered such a move. He would need to green-light any attempt to advance it.