Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will not appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday to discuss reports that he wanted to secretly record President Trump and then use the recordings to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment, reports the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross, citing an anonymous House Judiciary Committee aide, and later confirmed by CNN.
Rosenstein said he was joking when he made the comments to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page, however that claim has been refuted by the FBI's former top attorney.
"We have many questions for Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and expect answers to those questions. There is not at this time a confirmed date for a potential meeting," the aide told the Caller.
"Don’t think he is coming," added one Republican lawmaker on Wednesday.
The same lawmaker told TheDCNF on Tuesday that Rosenstein was likely to testify before the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees to answer questions about claims he discussed wearing a wire during his interactions with Trump.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus had called on Rosenstein to testify about his remarks, which were first reported by The New York Times on Sept. 21.
The conservative lawmakers, including North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, have been staunch critics of Rosenstein because of his failure to respond to requests for documents related to the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe. -Daily Caller
On Tuesday we reported that the FBI's former top attorney, James Baker, told Congressional investigators last week that Rosenstein wasn't joking about taping Trump.
"As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed," reports The Hill's John Solomon, citing a confidential source.
"It was no laughing matter for the FBI," the source added.
Solomon points out that Rosenstein's comments happened right around the time former FBI Director James Comey was fired.
McCabe, Baker's boss, was fired after the DOJ discovered that he had leaked self-serving information to the press and then lied to investigators about it. Baker, meanwhile, was central to the surveillance apparatus within the FBI during the counterintelligence operation on then-candidate Trump.
As the former FBI general counsel, Baker was a senior figure with a pivotal position who had the ear of the FBI director.
Baker also is at the heart of surveillance abuse accusations, many from congressional Republicans. His deposition lays the groundwork for a planned closed-door House GOP interview with Rosenstein later this week.
Baker, formerly the FBI's top lawyer, helped secure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as well as three subsequent renewals. -Fox News
Meanwhile, the New York Times noted that McCabe's own memos attest to Rosenstein's intentions to record Trump - which led to Rosenstein reportedly tendering a verbal resignation to White House chief of staff John Kelly.