Assistant to a GOP-led Committee, say, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened coercive measures, their records in a tense meeting earlier this year.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a “subpoena” E-Mails, phone records and other documents of legislators and staff to a Republican-led threat of a house Committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News, the encounter, and the reflection is documented, what aides described as a “personal attack.”
The E-Mails immortalized January 2018 closed-door meeting with high-ranking FBI and justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened in the tables on the Committee for inquiries concerning the Russia probe.
“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized in writing to the Committee for shipping to our requirements, and was further critical of the Committee’s request, DOJ/FBI do the same if you reply:” the Committee’s then-senior counsel for the Anti-terrorist Kash Patel wrote to the house Office of General Counsel. “Going So far as to say that, if the Committee likes litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] to [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your E-Mails,’ with reference to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence], and the Congress as a whole.”
A second Committee-a member of staff at the session, backed up Patel’s account, and writes: “Let me just add that the Deputy of the Prosecutor General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was overwhelming and daunting. … Also, with the nation’s #1 (for these issues) law enforcement officer action on your phone calls and E-Mails threatening to “forced”, it was downright sobering.”
The Committee staff member pointed out that Rosenstein’s comment could be interpreted, that is, the Department would defend itself “vigorously, a contempt action” – what could be expected. But the assistant continued, “I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us.”
Representatives of both the DOJ and the FBI denied the account in the E-Mails.
“The FBI does not agree with a number of characterizations of the session as described in the statements of an employee of the E-Mails available to us from Fox News,” the FBI said in a statement.
A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anybody in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said, “Department” and ” Bureau officials in the room, “are all quite clear that the characterization of the events put on here is wrong,” adding that Rosenstein was as a response to a threat of contempt.
‘[H]aving the nation ‘s #1 … law enforcement officer threaten to “coercive action on your phone calls and E-Mails” that was downright sobering.’
– House Intelligence Committee staffer, describing the collision with the Rod Rosenstein
“The Deputy attorney General made the point—after he was threatened with contempt, as an American citizen accused of the offence of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend themselves, for example, to the production of relevant E-Mails and text messages and calling you as a witness to prove that their claims are false,” said the official. “That’s why he put you on notice to keep relevant E-Mails and text messages, and he hopes that you did. (We have no procedure to such records without the consent of the Congress.)”
Further, the officials said that if Rosenstein back in the United States from a ride to work, “he will demand that the house General Council to conduct the conduct of an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’.”
Details of the January 2018 to meet first trickled, in the immediate aftermath. Fox News Gregg Jarrett tweeted in February on the alleged subpoena threat.
A 2. A source has now confirmed to me that at a meeting on 10 January, the Deputy A-G Rosenstein, the power of his office used to threaten coercive measures of the calls and texts of the Intel Committee, in order to stop it, it is the investigation of the DOJ and FBI. Probably a misuse of Power and disability.
— Gregg Jarrett (@Gregg Jarrett) 3. February 2018
But the E-Mails, reviewed by Fox News, the additional details about this encounter. A former justice Department officials said the account can help explain how the relationship between DOJ and the Republican-led house Committee is degraded in the months since.
“This is much worse than a deterioration in the relationship – that is a massive fault in the system. A Deputy General Prosecutor did not subpoena threats easily. This is not to say the standard the least,” Tom Dupree, former principal deputy assistant attorney general under the George W. Bush administration, told Fox News. “It’s hard to say whether [Rosenstein] send a message to come, or whether he’s just trying to illustrate how invasive he is of the opinion, the claims from the Congress. But either way, it is a clear signal that the relationship is broken, and it is not clear how the things will get repaired.”
The tense meeting about the limits of congressional oversight and the Department of justice, the concern for the protection of sources and methods – seems to have set the tone for a sustainable records in dispute and the current dispute over the Chairman Devin Nunes’ request for information in relation to an alleged FBI confidential human source in contact with the trump campaign.
A Senior Justice Department official is said to have Rosenstein and others offered, will meet on Thursday with a group of house leaders, as the Gang of Eight. In a letter, Nunes, R-Calif. – whose employees are documented, the Jan. 10 meeting made it clear that he wants the records for all of made accessible to intelligence committee members and the selection of the employees two days earlier.
The Jan. 10 meeting came in the midst of state surveillance abuse allegations, outstanding house subpoenas for Russia to probe records and the looming threat of contempt. The Capitol Hill session based on a request for a sensitive document, according to the E – Mails and included Rosenstein, Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott schools, the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, Stephen Boyd, then-FBI Assistant Director Greg Brower and FBI Director, Christopher Wray, and Nunes and the three Committee employees.
The E-Mails checked, the show of Fox News, at least two Committee staff immortalized their concerns with the Deputy attorney General, for his alleged statements on request from the Office of General Counsel.
“I know, I have the following to write to you over the phone, and for your suggestion making it, so it is at least some record of the event,” wrote Patel, who is now the Committee of the national security adviser.
The were down two staff members, whether Rosenstein could justify the comments as “only refer to how the DOJ would vigorously defend all litigation, the initiate, the Committee may?” — an obvious reference to Nunes’ to keep threat Rosenstein and Wray in contempt for not providing records.
“I … as the DAG clearly approach articulates the Committee should continue its investigation in the current manner, which he found unacceptable and inappropriate. It was not as a reaction, as you disputes (ie contempt, or the like) would be answered defend,” Patel. “It leaks, the source contact, and other alleged information by the Committee was about.”
The question about the January meeting, Nunes provided a statement to Fox News noticed it and referred the incident to speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan’s office: “The Intelligence Committee is of the view that staff concerns on the most difficult level, especially those involving interactions with the Executive. Based on the reasonable concern that our staff, lead investigators, we have pointed out, this matter to the Speaker’s Office.”
Fox News extensive quotes from the E-mail and offered an opportunity to respond to all of the parties. The house Office of General Counsel declined to comment. A source close to the speaker said, they “encouraged the Committee through the work of the non-partisan DOJ Inspector General’s Office.”
A Committee source said, “the DOJ IG is one of several steps under consideration.”
The DOJ official later said in an E-Mail that “no formal complaint was ever filed [with] the GC or IG.” The official also said that Rosenstein and Nunes “we went out to dinner with a mutual friend on the night of the meeting and the Chairman did not raise any concerns about the entertainment this evening.”
Dupree, though, said the tensions between Congress and the justice Department go far beyond the traditional Supervisory negotiations.
“Rarely, if ever, it has deterioriated to the point where you have what seems to be the threats back and forth between the two sides,” he said.
Fox News’ Pamela Browne, Cyd Upson contributed to this report.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, DC she covers intelligence, the justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as the London correspondent.