Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has had enough.
It's a constitutional turf battle where House Intel Chairman Nunes is using dishonorable nonsense to demand the entire evidence locker from the DOJ, in order, of course, to leak it to Trump.
Rosenstein has no obligation to hand over evidence that might be used in an ongoing investigation, especially since there is so much evidence that Nunes is working for Trump.
Fox News broke a report with comments from Nunes aides, who tried to paint Rosenstein as the aggressor and a bully abusing his power, but in the real world, we know that not to be true.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a "personal attack."
Notice it said what aides described.
I'd say he should be investigating Rep. Devin Nunes' despicable behavior in turning the House Intelligence Committee into a Trump mole operation.
Rosenstein did respond to Fox News this way.
A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said the department and bureau officials in the room “are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false,” adding that Rosenstein was responding to a threat of contempt.
The Deputy Attorney General was making the point—after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said. “That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)”
Further, the official said that when Rosenstein returns to the United States from a work trip, “he will request that the House General counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’ conduct.”
The CNN panel found it amazing to see a Trump-led DOJ fighting with Trump supporting House members.
JOHN KING: This is past the point of "wow" in the sense that this is not Republicans going after Eric Holder, Republicans going after a Democratic Justice Department. This is Republicans going after two Trump appointed officers. Boom, what's going on here?
MOLLY BALL: Look, this follows months and months of the Justice Department and Rod Rosenstein being under attack by the President and his congressional henchman and they're sick it. They just believe they're following the rules and they're under this assault. I don't think they like it very much.
And as soon as Rosenstein pushes back, noting that in his defense against their charges he can subpoena text messages, Nunes runs over to Fox and whines that he's being oppressed. Boo Effing Hoo.
Frances Langum contributed to this post.