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Rosenstein to meet with lawmakers over report he sought to secretly record Trump

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein at the White House on Thursday.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein at the White House on Thursday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The House Judiciary Committee expects to interview Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein behind closed doors sometime in the next few weeks, according to its chairman, who said Friday that he is finalizing the meeting’s details with the Justice Department.

“There are many questions we have for Mr. Rosenstein, including questions about allegations made against him in a recent news article,” said the chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). “We need to get to the bottom of these very serious claims.”

Rosenstein agreed to a meeting after speaking with Goodlatte on Thursday, said an administration official with knowledge of their discussion.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the Judiciary Committee “is calling the shots” and that “we support the Judiciary chairman.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein has been the target of President Trump's ire for months. Here's a look back at their history. (Video: Jenny Starrs, Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Memos kept by former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe say Rosenstein suggested secretly recording President Trump, potentially as part of a plan to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment. Rosenstein has denied this but offered to resign after the report’s publication last week.

He is expected to meet with Trump next week to discuss the matter.

McCabe memos say Rosenstein considered secretly recording Trump

Last week’s report by the New York Times touched off a firestorm among conservative Republicans, who have pressured Rosenstein to turn over documents as part of their ongoing scrutiny of the Justice Department and FBI and how the agencies conducted their investigations of Trump’s campaign and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Rosenstein appeared on the brink of impeachment over the summer, but in recent weeks top GOP officials have said they felt he had become more compliant with lawmakers’ requests.

Now Republican leaders say they support demands for more information. On Thursday, the Judiciary Committee subpoenaed McCabe’s memos, along with documents related to the FBI’s application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and other materials about the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election already shared with the “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of congressional and intelligence committee leaders.

House Judiciary panel subpoenas McCabe memos, Page surveillance documents

Trump has said he is inclined to let Rosenstein remain in his job for now, though it is expected that he will depart the Justice Department along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions after November’s elections.

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees plan to meet with former FBI general counsel James Baker next week as part of their ongoing probe. Lawmakers expect to meet in late October with Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, the private research firm that produced a dossier detailing Trump’s alleged personal and business ties to Russia, according to two members. Ohr is married to Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who met on several occasions with Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled the information contained in the dossier.

The committees also have invited Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, to speak with them and have sent requests to former FBI director James B. Comey, former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Simpson rejected the invitation, raising the possibility lawmakers will issue a subpoena for his testimony.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the House committees invited Christopher Steele to speak with them. The committees invited Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, to speak with them.

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