Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee during a tense January meeting involving committee members and senior DOJ/FBI officials, according to emails seen by Fox News documenting the encounter described by aides as a “personal attack.”
That said, Rosenstein was responding to a threat to hold him in contempt of Congress – and the “threat” to subpoena GOP records was ostensibly in order for him to be able to defend himself.
Rosenstein allegedly threatened to “turn the tables” on the committee’s aggressive document requests, according to Fox.
“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.” –Fox News
The committee staffer suggested that Rosenstein’s comment could be interpreted to mean that the DOJ would “vigorously defend a contempt action” — which might be expected. But the staffer continued, “I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us.”…
It seems that a stable dynamic of mutual blackmail has been established between the DOJ and congress. Unless the underlying scandals are laid bare to the public, the tendency over time will be for this dynamic between competing gangs to give way to active cooperation and an alliance of corruption between them. This is how organized crime metastasizes and grows. No form of political structure is immune from this organic process, it colonizes and creates stable self-reinforcing networks on whatever substrate is available. That’s why the founders insisted on a small and segmented government structure, it seems to be the only way to delay the inevitable process of corruption.
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master…” – G. Washington