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On Thursday, Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan - who backed the bid to oust Mr Rosenstein - announced his intention to replace Mr Ryan as House Speaker.

Conservative members of the U.S House of Representatives introduced articles of impeachment on Wednesday against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The documents were introduced just before House lawmakers are getting ready to leave for the five-week summer recess; Meadows did not use a procedural move that could have forced a vote this week. "And if this were to pass through the House, then what it would do is tie the Senate into knots".

"The attack on Rosenstein of course is an attack on the Mueller investigation", Pelosi said at a news conference on Thursday.

Justice Department officials have said they have provided the vast majority of information sought in subpoenas from two key House committees - and are almost done with providing all of the outstanding information requested in those subpoenas.

Democrats have telegraphed for months that any move by Trump to oust Sessions, Rosenstein or Mueller would trigger a constitutional crisis.

Rosenstein told lawmakers in that hearing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was making "unprecedented disclosures" to Congress, and concerns about the speed of those disclosures were "mistaken".

"If you don't like the way Rod Rosenstein is responding to your subpoena, charge him with contempt of court".

Article II of the Constitution says the president has the "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".

Meadows said in the Fox News interview that the conservatives could move "as soon as tomorrow" to force a vote and said discussions were underway about the timing.

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Earlier, Rosenstein's boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, expressed confidence in the career civil servant and took a swipe at the lawmakers pushing for his ouster.

But Meadows said separately on Thursday that he doesn't intend to give up his push to get more information and more documents from the Justice Department. Gowdy said after the meeting that he was pleased with the department's efforts.

Meadows and Jordan are leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a bloc whose members have been among the most persistent critics of Rosenstein. Telling colleagues in May: "The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted".

Unfortunately, for too long, there has been a culture of stonewalling and misdirection that has permeated the highest levels of these organizations, most especially under the failed leadership of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former FBI Director James Comey.

Napolitano went on to say that the impeachment proceedings against the deputy AG will likely lead to nothing, but that it could be a "red badge of courage" for Rosenstein trying to defend the integrity of the Justice Department.

So far, the special counsel has charged 32 people and three companies.

That includes four Trump campaign advisers and 12 Russian intelligence officers.

That's why they filed a resolution Wednesday evening to impeach Rosenstein for failure to turn over the documents, among other grievances.