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Jeff Sessions defends Rod Rosenstein after some House members move to impeach the deputy AG
Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, on Thursday, after the official was threatened with impeachment by Republican lawmakers. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Jeff Sessions defends Rod Rosenstein after some House members move to impeach the deputy AG

The day after a group of House Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has come to Rosenstein's defense.

What did Sessions say?

Speaking at a news conference Thursday, Sessions told the media, "My deputy Rod Rosenstein is highly capable. I have the highest confidence in him."

Then the attorney general offered some advice on where lawmakers should instead be directing their attention.

"What I would like Congress to do is to focus on some of the legal challenges that are out there," Sessions said. "We need Congress to deal with the immigration question.

"There are loopholes in our laws that are being exploited. We need to get them focused and we are pleading with them to do so. Our job and our enforcement officers' jobs are far more difficult than they need to be. Common sense legislation can make a big difference. That is where I'd like to see them focus their time."

What's the impeachment about?

Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election, after Sessions recused himself from the inquiry.

But a number of Republican lawmakers have expressed frustration and distrust toward the Department of Justice in its handling of the case and its responsiveness to some House subpoenas — ultimately leading to the impeachment measures.

House Freedom Caucus members Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) introduced the articles of impeachment along with nine co-sponsors on Wednesday.

"We're tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information,"  Jordan told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Anything else?

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also responded to the impeachment efforts on Thursday, telling reporters, "Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not."

Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano went further and criticized the effort to impeach Rosenstein, calling the actions "wrong and baseless [and] embarrassing for everybody involved."

Napolitano said an impeachable offense would be more of a high crime like bribery or treason, whereas the allegations made against the deputy attorney general should have been treated as more of an ethics violation.

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