By Brooke Singman, ,
Published September 28, 2018
House Republicans and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have agreed to a meeting “in a week or two” to discuss a report that Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire and secretly recording President Trump, along with other topics, a person familiar with the matter told Fox News.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., had a phone call with Rosenstein on Thursday evening. The two agreed to a meeting in a couple weeks to discuss the New York Times report, which included Rosenstein’s alleged suggestion to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Rosenstein has blasted the report as false and denied making the comments.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., tweeted that House Republicans would subpoena Rosenstein if he did not appear for the meeting.
“Leadership has agreed to call Rod Rosenstein before Congress, for a closed door hearing with our panel investigating, so he can explain his alleged comments on ‘wiring’ POTUS—as well as other inconsistent statements,” Meadows tweeted. “If Mr. Rosenstein fails to show up, we will subpoena him.”
The person familiar with the Rosenstein-Goodlatte phone call told Fox News that the two agreed to a “meeting,” not a “hearing” or an “interview.”
The scheduled meeting comes after Goodlatte and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., moved to subpoena the memos and materials belonging to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as part of their joint investigation into decisions “made and not made” by the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 election.
“Given the Department’s ongoing delays and/or refusal to produce these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel their production,” Goodlatte wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday, providing an Oct. 4 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over the material.
The Justice Department and a spokesperson for McCabe declined to comment.
A committee source told Fox News that the subpoena also was in response to The New York Times report.
Sources told Fox News that the meeting where Rosenstein allegedly made the comments about wearing a “wire” took place at the Justice Department on May 16, 2017. Several people were in the room, including McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed the next day.
The details in The Times article were confirmed by sources who were briefed on the discussions or memos written about the discussions by McCabe and others.
An attorney for McCabe, last week issued a statement acknowledging that such memos exist.
“Andrew McCabe drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions,” McCabe’s attorney, former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich, said in a statement.
“When he was interviewed by the Special Counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos -- classified and unclassified -- to the Special Counsel's office. A set of those memos remained at the FBI at the time of his departure in late January 2018. He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos.”
Congressional investigators said McCabe’s memos have been out of their reach, citing special counsel equities. They said the memos included real-time debriefs from former FBI Director James Comey after his meetings with Trump as part of the paper trail to build a possible obstruction case.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment.
Trump is slated to meet with Rosenstein at the White House next week to discuss the alleged “wire” comments in the Times article. The meeting was delayed from Thursday.
There has been much speculation over whether Trump will fire Rosenstein during that meeting, but at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Trump said his “preference would be to keep him, to let him finish up” the Russia investigation.
Rosenstein oversees Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.