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Tag: Deputy Attorney General

Jeffrey Rosen Confirmed As DOJ’s Second-in-Command Despite No Experience As Prosecutor

Jeffrey Rosen at the Senate confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Rosen, who has no experience as a prosecutor, is now the second-in-command at the Justice Department.

The Senate voted along party lines Thursday to confirm confirm Rosen to replace former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the embattled official who initiated Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Rosen has never served in the Justice Department. He previously served as general counsel at the Department of Transportation and at the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Democrats said they opposed Rosen because he lacks DOJ experience and refused during congressional testimony to pledge to release the full, unredacted Mueller report.

“We need a Deputy Attorney General who knows the Justice Department,,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement after Rosen’s confirmation. “Mr. Rosen simply does not have the qualifications for this critical assignment.”

Republicans praised Rosen for his “rock-solid reputation,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Rosen has “the experience, skills and the temperament we want in a deputy attorney general.”

Rosen was nominated by President Trump in February.

Read Deputy AG Rosenstein’s Full Letter of Resignation, Ending 2 Tumultuous Years as DOJ’s No. 2

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his letter of resignation to President Trump on Monday, ending two years as the No. 2 at the Justice Department.

His resignation is effective May 11.

“I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education and prosperity,” Rosenstein wrote.

Jeffrey Rosen, who served as second in charge at the U.S. Department of Transportation, is expected to take Rosenstein’s place as long as he’s confirmed by the Senate.

Rosenstein served two tumultuous years after he appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election. The appointment enraged Trump.

Attorney General William Barr applauded Rosenstein for his long career in federal law enforcement.

“Over the course of his distinguished government career, he has navigated many challenging situations with strength, grace, and good humor,” Barr said in a statement. “Rod has been an invaluable partner to me during my return to the Department, and I have relied heavily on his leadership and judgment over the past several months.”

Read Rosenstein’s full letter of resignation here:

Rosenstein Resignation Letter by on Scribd

Deputy AG Rosenstein Defended Role in Mueller Report, Fired Back at Critics

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate Russian interference during the presidential election, fire back Thursday at politicians and journalists who have questioned his handling of the probe.

Rosenstein defended the nearly two-year special counsel investigation, saying “our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes.”

Speaking at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association, Rosenstein spoke publicly for the first time since Mueller’s report was made public.

“As acting Attorney General, it was my responsibility to make sure that the Department of Justice would do what the American people pay us to do: conduct an independent investigation,” said Rosenstein, who leaves the Justice Department next month.

Rosenstein and Attorney General William Barr made the decision that President Trump did not obstruct justice.

“I did pledge to do it right and take it to the appropriate conclusion,” Rosenstein said. “I did not promise to report all results to the public, because grand jury investigations are ex parte proceedings. It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. … We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”

Trump Less Likely to Fire Rosenstein Because of Midterm Election Fallout

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein seemed all but certain earlier this week, but White House officials said Tuesday it’s unlikely that President Trump will fire Rosenstein before the midterm elections.

Sources in the White House told the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post that a major shakeup in Justice Department looks less likely as Trump considers the possible fallout during midterm elections. 

Allies of Rosenstein, who set in motion the special counsel investigation of Russia with the appointment of Robert Muller in May 2017, also said he is unlikely to voluntarily resign.

Rosenstein is scheduled to meet with the president Thursday to discuss a New York Times story that said he considered secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to force his removal from office.

According to advisers to the president, Trump has expressed a willingness to hear out Rosenstein.

Republicans have urged the president to wait until after the midterm elections to remove Rosenstein.

Russia Investigation at Risk with Potential Departure of Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before a House committee in December 2017.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The potential departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has raised legal questions over who would succeed him and oversee the special counsel investigation of Russia.

With Rosenstein in charge of the Robert Mueller investigation, a lot is at stake.

Legal experts say President Trump likely has two options if he fires Rosenstein, who has come under fire following reports that he suggested secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

Under a federal law about the order of succession, Solicitor General Noel Francisco would be the next in line to replace Rosenstein. But Francisco may recuse himself because he worked for Jones Day, a law firm that has represented Trump’s campaign. Next in line is Steven Engel, the head of the Justice Department.

But another law, the Vacancies Act, could give Trump more options because it gives the president the authority to temporarily fill executive positions with acting officers, according to the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reports:

But if invoked, the Vacancies Act could open the field—at least on a temporary basis—to a much larger pool of potential successors. The list could include other Senate-confirmed Trump administration officials in and outside the Justice Department. It could also include senior Justice Department officers who haven’t gone through Senate confirmation but have served in the agency for at least 90 days and have attained the highest-level pay grade.

While the Vacancies Act could give Mr. Trump more flexibility, it’s a more legally uncertain path. For one, it’s not clear if the Vacancies Act could be used to replace Mr. Rosenstein if he is fired.

Under the law, a vacancy arises when a relevant officer “dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.” Legal experts disagree about whether getting fired constitutes being “otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.” A 1999 Office of Legal Counsel memo—citing Senate floor debate—suggests that a firing would count. The issue would likely be litigated.

Defiant Deputy AG Rosenstein Says Justice Department Won’t ‘Be Extorted’ with GOP Threats

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of overseeing the special counsel investigation of Russian election interference, said Tuesday he is not intimidated by conservative Republican lawmakers who are threatening to impeach him.

“There have been people that have been making threats, publicly and privately, against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now: The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at the Newseum in Washington. “Any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job. We have a responsibility and we take an oath. That’s the whole point.”

Rosenstein, who has been in President Trump’s crosshairs, struck a defiant and resolute tone as he fielded questions from the audience and even criticized lawmakers who drafted legislation to potentially impeach him.

“They can’t even resist leaking their own drafts,” the deputy attorney general said. “I saw that draft. I mean, I don’t know who wrote it. It really does illustrate, though, a really important distinction between the way we operate in the Department of Justice — if we’re going to accuse somebody of wrongdoing, we have to have admissible evidence and credible witnesses. We need to be prepared to prove our case in court. … We have people who are accountable. And so I just don’t have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on.”

Trump Asked Mueller’s Boss If He Was ‘On My Team’

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump asked the top Justice Department official overseeing the special counsel investigation whether he was “on my team” during a December meeting at the White House, according to CNN

The candid question to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein came in the midst of an obstruction of justice investigation that began when the president fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017 for allegedly refusing to pledge “loyalty” to the president by dropping an investigation of a former Trump aide who has since been indicted.

During the White House meeting, Trump also asked about the direction of the investigation, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller in May to launch an investigation into the possibility of collusion between the Trump administration and Russia to undermine the presidential election in 2016. Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the investigation because his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself because he met with Russian officials while supporting Trump during the campaign.

A few days after the encounter  between Trump and Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general testified before a House committee that he saw no good reason to fire Mueller.

Sources told CNN in January that Trump was furious with Rosenstein and griped about wanting him removed. 

Deputy U.S. Attorney Rosenstein Interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller’s Office

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been interviewed by Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office about President Trump’s firing of former FBIU Director James Comey, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The interview, which occurred earlier this summer, creates the odd scenario of investigators questioning the officials directly overseeing the investigation. Mueller, for example, reports to Rosenstein after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in May.

The interview “could be a sign that Mr. Mueller’s team doesn’t view Mr. Rosenstein as a central witness in its probe, as the deputy attorney general hasn’t withdrawn himself from overseeing it since that interview,” the Journal reported.

The subject of the interview wasn’t immediately clear.