Call it leverage

Where the crazy is at the moment:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday that he opposes an effort by conservatives to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, as Republican leaders of the chamber sought to avert a vote on the volatile issue later in the day.

Some House Republicans want to impeach the Republican Deputy AG over the investigation of the Republican president by the Republican former head of the FBI, and other House Republicans want to hold off on that for now.

Conservative hard-liners earlier agreed to hold off on pushing for an impeachment vote Thursday after securing a commitment from GOP leaders to declare Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress if they do not deliver specified documents in the coming weeks.

That might sound kind of normal if we didn’t know that ongoing investigations are routinely carried on behind closed doors because throwing the doors open puts the investigation in jeopardy.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said earlier Thursday that he supports the effort by conservative lawmakers to impeach Rosenstein, calling it “leverage” to get the Justice Department to provide Congress with more documents related to the Russia probe.

But it’s just routine for the Justice Department not to collaborate with Congress in its investigations. That’s how they do it.

Democrats have said that House Republicans’ clashes with Rosenstein are little more than a pretext to weaken Mueller’s efforts.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the push to get more documents “really has nothing to do with oversight.”

“This has everything to do … with getting the documents to the president’s allies in Congress so (Trump lawyer Rudolph W.) Giuliani can get his hands on them,” Schiff said.

And that’s not how that’s supposed to work.

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