Despite the staggering revelations regarding his pre-Mueller probe conduct that came to light a week ago, Rod Rosenstein looks set to keep his job - for now, at least. But while President Trump has insisted that he doesn't believe the report - which alleges that Rosenstein tried to recruit cabinet members for a palace coup and even suggested surreptitiously taping Trump in the Oval Office - the truth of the matter may soon be exposed thanks to House Oversight Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who on Thursday formally subpoenaed the DOJ to obtain copies of the incriminating memos, and other related materials, purportedly penned by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The NYT and other news outlets cited the memos as the original source for their story, though none of them actually obtained physical copies of the document - instead, they relied on "descriptions" of the memos' content conveyed by third parties who had reportedly seen them.
According to Fox News, Goodlatte sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday notifying him of the subpoena, which was issued as part of a joint investigation with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. Goodlatte is giving the DOJ - which has been notoriously reluctant to comply with Congressional subpoenas during the Trump era - a deadline of Oct. 4 to comply. The initial Times report claimed that McCabe had left copies of his memos at the FBI after he was fired earlier this year.
"Given the Department’s ongoing delays and/or refusal to produce these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel their production," Goodlatte wrote to Sessions.
In addition to requesting all documents and communications pertaining to the memos, Goodlatte also subpoenaed the file on the first FISA Court application requesting a wiretapping warrant on Trump Campaign advisor Carter Page, a warrant that was at the heart of the Obama Administration's suspected conspiracy to wiretap and investigate the presidential nominee of its rival party, according to the Washington Examiner.
Rosenstein has denounced the NYT report as "factually incorrect" while insisting that he never said or did the things he was accused of doing. Other anonymous sources who were reportedly in the room during a meeting between Rosenstein and McCabe where these issues were discussed were quoted saying Rosenstein made the comment about wiretapping the president in jest.
McCabe's lawyer, Mark Bromwich (who notably made an appearance during Thursday's Kavanaugh hearing) acknowledged the existence of the memos in a statement last week.
"Andrew McCabe drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions," McCabe’s attorney Michael Bromwich said in a statement. "When he was interviewed by the Special Counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos - classified and unclassified - to the Special Counsel's office. A set of those memos remained at the FBI at the time of his departure in late January 2018. He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos."
The memos, which were taken by McCabe, reportedly include details from debriefing sessions with former FBI Director James Comey about his meetings with Trump. They were intended to preserve details that may have been used in an obstruction case against the president.
Fox News reported that the meeting where Rosenstein purportedly made his comments took place on May 16, 2017. The meeting was attended by several DOJ officials, including McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page, who was famously fired from the bureau after her anti-Trump text messages with former lover Peter Strzok were exposed. Notably, Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller the day after the meeting. The New York Times reported at the time that it had confirmed the details of the memos - the contents of which had been shared with the paper through an intermediary - with multiple people who had been briefed on their content.