WASHINGTON – House Speaker Paul Ryan came out strongly against his House Republican colleagues' push to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday.
"Do I support impeachment of Rod Rosenstein? No, I do not," the Wisconsin lawmaker said.
Ryan says he doesn't believe Rosenstein has done anything that constitutes a high crime.
"I don't think we should be cavalier with this process or this term," continued Ryan. "I don't think this rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors."
His response came after a group of 11 Republicans, led by Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), introduced articles of impeachment Wednesday night charging Rosenstein with "high crimes and misdemeanors," claiming he did not provide all the information sought by Congress.
Rep. Jordan tweeted, "We can't get answers for the American people if we can't get information from the DOJ. It's time to impeach Rod Rosenstein."
Jordan, a hardline conservative, announced on Thursday his plans to run for speaker of the House when Ryan retires at the end of this session.
"Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives," said Jordan in a statement.
"President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It's time to do what we said," he declared.
Speaker Ryan says Jordan has not discussed these plans with him, and he supports Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to take his place.
"I support Kevin McCarthy; everybody knows that," Ryan told reporters.
Candidates for the speaker position need to garner a majority of the votes cast in order to win – which means they need 218 votes if all 435 members of the House are present.