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Deputy AG Rosenstein grilled on docs: 'Why are you keeping information from Congress?'

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, right, accompanied by FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2018, on Justice Department and FBI actions around the 2016 presidential election. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - There was a fiery exchange Thursday between members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the No. 2 person at the Department of Justice.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fired back after some Republicans accused the DOJ of hiding information about his investigation into the 2016 presidential election, Russia and possible FBI misconduct.

"Mr. Rosenstein, why are you keeping information from Congress?" asked Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

"Congressman, I am not keeping any information from Congress," Rosenstein replied.

Rosenstein faced off with Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee, after they accused him of holding back documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation.

Jordan said, "I want to know why you won’t give us what we've asked for."

Rosenstein said, "Sir, I certainly hope that your colleagues are not under that impression, that is not accurate sir."

"It is accurate. We have caught you hiding information," Jordan responded, as another lawmaker chimed in: "Mr. Chairman, can we allow the witness to answer?"

In a heated exchange, Rosenstein pushed back against claims his department is dragging its feet on not producing the documents requested by Congress.

"The truth is, we have a team of folks that are Trump appointees and career folks, and they are doing their best to produce those documents," he said. "[FBI Director Christopher Wray] explained to you the process. He’s got hundreds of people working around the clock trying to satisfy these requests.”

The hearing took place as the GOP-led House approved a measure demanding the Justice Department comply with House committee subpoenas for documents by July 6.

"You got seven days to get your act together and get us the information," Jordan said.

The vote was along party lines; Democrats slammed the move.

"Today’s Judiciary Committee and resolution is completely stupid," said Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. "We've got thousands of kids that were ripped away from their parents, they have still not been reunited, and we're talking about Hillary Clinton's emails? That is one of the most ridiculous things I could be thinking of doing right now."

Rosenstein says the vote won't affect how Congress gets the documents.

"You’re gonna get everything that’s relevant that we can find and produce to you," he said. "I support this report, sir. I’m not trying to hide anything from you."

If the DOJ misses that deadline, some conservative members want to hold Rosenstein in contempt of Congress or impeach him.

Jordan spoke with Sinclair Broadcast Group following Thursday's hearing.

"Look, enough is enough," he said. "We've requested documents, we've had subpoenas that they haven't complied with, document requests they haven't complied with. We've caught 'em hiding information ... we know that Mr. Rosenstein, according to the news accounts, threatened members of the House Intelligence Committee. So, we're tired of it."

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also expressed his frustration with Rosenstein.

"We've been butting heads and we're gonna continue to butt heads in this hearing because he has not been forthright with the Congress in producing the documents we need," he said. "The American people have a right to know this stuff."


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