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Rosenstein: DOJ won't be extorted by Congress.

Byline: Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Tuesday lashed out at Republicans who have drafted articles of impeachment against him, saying the Justice Department won't be extorted or give in to threats.

Rosenstein, speaking at a question-and-answer session at the Newseum, chided the allies of President Donald Trump who have prepared the document by saying that "they can't even resist leaking their own drafts" and that they lack "the courage to put their name on it."

"I can tell you there have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," Rosenstein said, in response to a question about news reports on the articles of impeachment.

"We're going to do what's required by the rule of law," he added. "And any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job."

He did not elaborate on what he meant by threats, but some congressional Republicans have excoriated him for his oversight role of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A House Republican memo released in February said that Rosenstein approved the renewal of a secret surveillance warrant to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign associate and that the warrant application had relied excessively on Democrat-funded opposition research.

Some lawmakers have also criticized Rosenstein and the Justice Department for what they say is a slow response to lawmakers' demands for documents, including about the now-resolved Hillary Clinton email probe.

Trump has also repeatedly lambasted Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose recusal from the Russia investigation laid the groundwork for the appointment of Mueller.

Rosenstein said that while the Justice Department supports congressional oversight, lawmakers must also understand that their duty is not to interfere with ongoing investigations.

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Title Annotation:Washington_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 2, 2018
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