Jonathan Turley said it was "really reckless" for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to threaten to “subpoena” lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported Tuesday on emails that described a tense closed-door meeting in January. Written by House Intelligence Committee staffers, they said Rosenstein threatened to subpoena emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and aides on the committee -- in response to inquiries regarding the Russia probe.

The DOJ and FBI have disputed the characterizations of the meeting, with a DOJ official telling Fox News that officials in the room described the description of events as false.

Republican lawmakers have been calling on Rosenstein to provide documents related to the FBI's alleged use of an informant in President Trump's 2016 campaign.


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Turley, a constitutional law professor, said Rosenstein is subject to oversight by committees in the House and Senate, and those committees have a right -- and a need -- to see the documents.

"The allegation that one party used the FBI to investigate the opposing party is one of the most serious matters for oversight in our system," Turley said on "America's Newsroom." "It goes to the very heart of our electoral system and our governmental system."

He noted that the Justice Department has tried to downplay Rosenstein's "subpoena" remark as an aside, while one committee staffer described it as a “sustained personal attack" and "downright chilling."

"I do think that this was a serious mistake, even as an aside," Turley said.

Watch the "America's Newsroom" segment above.


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