Last week, Trey Gowdy’s alter-ego, a clean-shaven, reasonable adult (as one of our favorite legal satirists put it), went on national television and laughed at the idea that some of his fellow Republicans would attempt to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
And when I say “laughed”, I mean that literally. Here’s the clip:
Right. “Impeach him for what?”
That’s a good question, and lord knows Trey Gowdy isn’t above putting folks through the proverbial wringer in the interest of advancing an agenda, so if he can’t find a reason to do something controversial, well then there’s probably no such reason to be found.
But don’t tell that to Republican Representatives Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and their nine
co-conspirators co-sponsors who on Wednesday announced they are indeed moving ahead with this ridiculous charade. Here’s their rationale:
The impeachment articles come as evidence continues to mount regarding the Department of Justice’s problematic decision-making during the 2016 campaign and conduct surrounding the transition to President Trump’s administration in 2017. The impeachment articles are the result of nearly 9 months of unsuccessful Congressional attempts to force the Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with oversight requests.
The failures cited within the articles include intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the FISA process, and failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas, among others.
Got it. So basically, this is an effort to push the “witch hunt” narrative and if you read the actual articles of impeachment (embedded below), that is abundantly clear.
For what it’s worth, the DOJ disputes those accusations.
Posturing aside, it looks like Meadows and Jordan understand this isn’t likely to go anywhere. “While the move marks an escalation by Trump allies against Rosenstein, who has drawn Trump’s ire for appointing Mueller last year, Meadows sidestepped a procedural move that could have forced the issue to a vote this week and laid bare divisions among Republicans”, Politico wrote on Wednesday evening, adding that “the House is leaving Thursday for a five-week recess and it’s unclear whether conservatives will attempt to force the issue when lawmakers return in September.”
Paul Ryan has indicated he doesn’t support this and even if he did, it’s never going to fly in the Senate. Just ask Jeff Flake:
This Senate Republican does not agree https://t.co/ItTLIHD71n
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 25, 2018
Or maybe ask Lindsey Graham, who said it’s more likely he’ll end up in L.A. playing for the Lakers alongside LeBron James than it is that Rosenstein will be impeached.
Lindsey Graham told me it's more likely that he'll be in the NBA playing basketball than Rod Rosenstein will be impeached.
He also told me the Mueller probe isn't a witch hunt and he's intent on letting him do his job. https://t.co/e9guH4ews8
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 26, 2018
It is painfully obvious what’s going on here. Some Republicans want the Deputy AG gone because Rosenstein oversees the Mueller probe. If Trump and his surrogates on Capitol Hill can get rid of Rosenstein (who, you’re reminded, personally signed off on the Michael Cohen raid), then the President would be free to put someone more sympathetic to the “cause” in charge of the investigation or shut it down altogether.
As for Rosenstein himself, he thinks this is just as laughable as Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy think it is…