Republicans draft articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein

Mr Rosenstein appointed the special counsel to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 election: AP
Mr Rosenstein appointed the special counsel to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 election: AP

Republicans in the House of Representatives have reportedly drafted articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who famously appointed a special counsel to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election.

The documents, obtained by The Washington Post, show a rift between Republican rank-and-file and leadership for the party, which has in the past said that special counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to see through his investigation.

One of the authors of the articles said they are a measure of “last resort”, though it could be used as a powerful provocative tool as Republicans continue their battle with Mr Rosenstein, Mr Mueller, and the Justice Department.

The measures are unlikely to receive widespread attention in the wider Congress.

The draft was written by members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has battled the Justice Department for documents related to decision making around personnel involved in the Russia probe.

“My frustrations about their inability to respond to simple requests could warrant further action,” Representative Mark Meadows, who spearheaded the effort, said of the articles of impeachment.

While it appears unlikely that Republican leadership would allow the bill to progress if it is introduced into the House Judiciary Committee, the document comes at a politically charged time that has seen even President Donald Trump muse openly that Mr Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt” and the potential that he may make changes to the leadership of the Justice Department.

“They have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on, I’ve taken the position – and I don’t have to take this position, maybe I’ll change – that I will not be involved with the Justice Department,” Mr Trump said during an interview on Fox News last week.

He continued: “I will wait ‘till this is over.”