An effort by some GOP lawmakers to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein won’t get help from Republican Bruce Poliquin.

Maine’s 2nd District representative said Thursday that he doesn’t support the move.

“I maintain that the impartial and independent investigation by (special counsel) Robert Mueller should run its course,” Poliquin said in a prepared statement.

Two House members — Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio — filed articles of impeachment Wednesday seeking to remove Rosenstein, who is responsible for overseeing Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Republican Kevin Raye, a former Maine state Senate president, thanked Poliquin in a statement on Twitter “for rejecting the insanity and supporting the rule of law.”

Though President Donald Trump has often called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” or a hoax, the special counsel has indicted 12 Russian agents, Trump’s former campaign manager, the president’s first national security adviser and others. He has not, however, brought any charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.


The impeachment effort is focused on a dispute between Trump backers in the House and the FBI about an alleged failure to comply with congressional demands for documents and Rosenstein’s role in securing a surveillance warrant related to the 2016 activities of Carter Page, a foreign policy expert who had ties to both Trump and the Russians.

The Department of Justice “has continued to hide information from Congress and repeatedly obstructed oversight — even defying multiple congressional subpoenas. We have had enough,” Meadows said in a statement on Twitter.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday that Rosenstein’s refusal to hand over documents sought by some legislators doesn’t rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that would warrant impeachment under the Constitution.

Poliquin said he shared concerns by some of his colleagues “over the speed and forthrightness of sharing necessary documents with Congress for proper oversight. I have long said the independent investigation, led by Mr. Mueller, should run its course. Hopefully, it is completed very soon.”

He said that “it is clear tensions are high due to the length of time it is taking to bring this matter to a clear conclusion. Again, I hope the investigation, and any conclusive findings, are finalized soon.”

Mueller’s investigation began in the spring of 2017. Since Watergate, the average length of time for a special prosecutor’s probe has been about two and a half years, with most of the issues investigated offering far less complexity than the national security matters Mueller must consider.


Some counsels, though, have taken much longer. The investigation into the Iran-Contra affair during President Ronald Reagan’s administration took seven years and the probe into President Bill Clinton’s Whitewater dealings — which eventually encompassed the Monica Lewinsky scandal — took nearly a decade to wrap up.

Poliquin pointed out that he has stood by Mueller before, including joining Democrats on the losing end of a 207-201 vote on an amendment that would require direct congressional oversight of Mueller’s spending. The Senate hasn’t acted on the idea.

Poliquin said the June vote “could be seen as undermining” Mueller’s investigation so he opposed it.

Poliquin is seeking a third term in a hotly contested four-way race that features Democratic challenger Jared Golden of Lewiston.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin speaking in Lewiston this year. (File photo)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.