Republican US Representative from Ohio Jim Jordan questions former US Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton as she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Congressman Jim Jordan says Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be “held accountable” for the leadership they have displayed at the Department of Justice, specifically as it relates to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“I’ve been extremely disappointed,” the Ohio Republican told The Daily Caller in an interview Tuesday. “They’re keeping critical facts from us, like the conversation between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page where they talk about the relationship Strzok has with one of the FISA court judges, the same judge who by the way heard Michael Flynn’s case and recused himself after Flynn pled guilty.”
Jordan said when Congress finally does see requested documents, they’re so heavily redacted, they cease to be informative for congressional oversight.
“That’s important information and you’re trying to hide it from us?” he continued. “We called for a second special counsel eight months ago” to probe potential wrongdoing committed by DOJ and FBI officials in procuring FISA warrants on members of the Trump campaign.
Now that “it looks like they’re not” appointing a second investigator, Jordan argues it’s time for Sessions and Rosenstein to leave their posts.
The congressman had previously suggested Sessions step down as AG, but he specifically stated Tuesday that Rosenstein should see punitive measures for his role in both the Mueller probe and the FBI’s original Trump-counterintelligence investigation.
“Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the obstruction of justice investigation into the firing of James Comey, can he really do that when he’s the guy who wrote the memo recommending the firing of James Comey?” he posed. “[Rosenstein] signed one of the FISA renewals, despite knowing that the author of the dossier that the FISA warrant was based on had his relationship with the FBI terminated because he broke protocol and leaked information to the press — I mean, come on!”
He further questioned the ability of the “guys that the DOJ has announced are going to be the point person on document production to Congress and the point person on working with [DOJ inspector general Michael] Horowitz” to carry out their responsibilities, given the fact they “report to” Rosenstein.
“This is like the Twilight Zone.”
The deputy attorney general was thrust back into the news Monday after it was reported he authorized an FBI raid on the offices of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney.
Conservatives have argued the raid falls well outside the purview of the special counsel and wonder why Rosenstein approved the action despite U.S. Attorney for the Souther District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, recusing himself from the decision.
Cohen’s office is located in Berman’s district. Trump appointed both him and Rosenstein to their current posts in 2017.
Despite calls from lawmakers to appoint a second special counsel, Sessions informed Congress he would only do so under “special circumstances.” Still, Jordan maintains that condition has been met.
“Think about this … FBI Director James Comey, fired. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired. FBI general counsel James Baker, demoted and reassigned. FBI deputy director of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, demoted and reassigned. FBI lawyer Lisa Page, reassigned. Top DOJ official Bruce Ohr, demoted and reassigned. Those are six top people in the FBI and Justice Department – if that’s not extraordinary circumstances, what the heck is?”
“I’m here to fight for the things that make us the greatest nation in history,” Jordan said in closing. “One of those hallmarks is equal treatment under the law and following the rule of law and not having the FBI engage in the type of behavior they engaged in.”
“People who did this sort of thing need to be held accountable. My concern is that Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein aren’t willing to do what everyone knows needs to be done.”