Speed Reads


Trump's allies in the House appear to be trying to jam Rod Rosenstein

A group of House Republicans keeps ratcheting up pressure on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to hand over documents related Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and the FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation, and Democrats say President Trump's allies are mostly trying to create a pretext for Trump to fire Rosenstein. Trump is reportedly furious at Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller investigation and approved last week's raid on Trump's lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen.

Three House Republicans — Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (Calif.), Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (S.C.), and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Va.) — have feuded with Rosenstein over documents that Rosenstein may not be able to turn over because, as he told them in letter Monday, they "may relate to an ongoing investigation, may contain classified information, and may report confidential presidential communications." The Justice Department typically does not give Congress documents from open law enforcement cases.

On Wednesday, Rep. Jarrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Goodlatte had given him notice that he intends to subpoena former FBI Director James Comey's memos on Trump. "If House Republicans refuse any accommodation short of the Department of Justice handing over custody of these documents — which it cannot do — I fear the majority will have manufactured an excuse to hold the deputy attorney general in contempt of Congress," Nadler told CNN. And the contempt motion, he added, might give Trump "the pretext he has sought to replace Mr. Rosenstein with someone willing to do his bidding and end the special counsel's investigation." The Republicans say they are just exercising their proper oversight duties.

Also, two of Trump's top allies in the House, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), met with Rosenstein on Monday to press for more documents on the conduct of law enforcement officials involved in the Russia and Clinton investigations, The Washington Post reports. "Trump and Meadows spoke at some point after the meeting, the three people said, but they declined to share details of the exchange."