The House on Thursday passed a resolution demanding that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turn over all Justice Department and FBI documents requested by members of Congress investigating the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation by July 7.
The vote was 226 to 183, with one Republican voting present. Although the resolution does not include any penalties, it is a victory and show of Republican solidarity for the lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees who have been battling Rosenstein for access to documents for months to no avail.
Republicans have threatened to impeach Rosenstein or hold him in contempt of Congress if he does not turn over the documents. The vote came as Rosenstein was testifying in the House Judiciary Committee. The resolution was spearheaded by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the Freedom Caucus.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has backed GOP lawmakers in this fight, which has helped to pressure Rosenstein into providing more access to documents. However, he has also limited access to certain ones to just the Gang of Eight — which is compromised of top leaders of the House and Senate, and GOP and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committee.
The GOP lawmakers are requesting access to documents regarding the FBI’s use of the unverified dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as well as its use of government informants to surveil the Trump campaign.
Earlier this year, law enforcement officials revealed to the New York Times and the Washington Post that an FBI and CIA government informant believed to be Stefan Halper had reached out to former Trump campaign advisers, including before the time the FBI said its investigation had begun.
The demand for documents has become even louder after the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report earlier this month that showed that embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was the lead investigator on both the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations, had exchanged anti-Trump text messages that showed a “biased state of mind” and a “willingness to act.”
He had texted, “We’ll stop it,” when discussing Trump’s election with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who he was having an extramarital affair with.