Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied under oath he had threatened to subpoena congressional aides’ communications, but a DOJ spokesman had already admitted that was true in statements to multiple news outlets, claiming it was justified.
“Rosenstein threatened to ‘subpoena’ GOP-led committee in ‘chilling’ clash over records, emails show,” reportedCatherine Herridge at Fox News. She quoted from multiple e-mails congressional staff sent to the House of Representatives’ Office of General Counsel after a January 2018 meeting with Rosenstein:
‘The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,’ the committee’s then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. ‘Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.’
A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: ‘Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. … Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to ‘subpoena your calls and emails’ was downright chilling.