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Tag: Rod Rosenstein

Deputy AG: No Plans to Fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The deputy U.S. attorney general assured Congress on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller would have “the full degree of independence” to investigate allegations of Russia interfering in the presidential election.

“Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, the Business Insider reports

Rosenstein’s assurance comes after Donald Trump’s friend suggested the president may fire Mueller.

But that power belongs to Rosenstein, who said he sees no good reason to fire Mueller.

Let The Seriousness Begin: The Stoic Ex-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Appointed Special Counsel in Russian Mess

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, the stoic leader of the bureau from 2001 to 2013, has been appointed special counsel to investigate whether the Russians influenced the 2016 campaign and the administration of President Donald Trump.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment on Wednesday, saying in a statement:

“In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

“Each year, the career professionals of the U.S. Department of Justice conduct tens of thousands of criminal investigations and handle countless other matters without regard to partisan political considerations. I have great confidence in the independence and integrity of our people and our processes. Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly. Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result.”

Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller isn’t likely to make Trump very happy. In fact, sources tell ticklethewire.com that Trump was very unhappy when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself of the investigation, giving Trump less control of the matter.

Appointments of special counsels have usually not ended very well for different presidential administrations.

Mueller, a former federal prosecutor, is known as a no-nonsense guy. He became director days before Sept. 11, 2001, and was subsequently tasked with shifting resources to deal address terrorism. After a while, some complained too many resources were being taken away from some of the basic duties like addressing white collar crimes and violence.

He was replaced in 2013 by James Comey, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

He played to mixed reviews within the bureau. He had his loyal folks within, but he also had agents who were glad to see him go.

That being said, no one expects him to pull punches in the probe.

Mueller has resigned from his private law firm to avoid any conflicts of interest.

 

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, The Canary in the Coal Mine, Already Gasping for Air

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a former U.S. Attorney from Baltimore, is the canary in the coal mine for the Justice Department. In very short time, in that role, he’s already gasping for breath, having been put smack in the middle of the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The phrase “canary in the coal mine” refers to caged canaries miners would carry down into the mine tunnels. If dangerous gases collected, the gases would kill the canaries before killing the miners. In this case, the dangerous gases could be the dubious demands by President Donald Trump that could compromise the Justice Department, and ultimately kill the canary’s government career.

Skeptics of the Trump administration have always expected that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would play politics and try to please his boss, the president.  But Rosenstein, a career prosecutor who has worked under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has a reputation as a straight shooter. The expectation is that he’ll stand up and say no if Trump tries to compromise the department. If Trump pushes too far and won’t back off, everyone assumes he’ll get fired or quit.

But very quickly, he’s already gasping for air.

Rosenstein authored a letter for the president detailing how Comey acted inappropriately during the Hillary Clinton email probe and implied he should be fired, but never said it outright. Trump then shot off a letter to Comey, saying he was going by the recommendation of Rosenstein and Sessions to fire him. Skeptics found it hard to swallow that Trump had concerns for Clinton.

Yellow canary - Serinus canaria on its perch in front of a white background

Rosenstein apparently felt duped, or at least that’s how it’s being portrayed in the press.

The Washington Post reported that Rosenstein threatened to “resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.”

People will be closely observing, paying close attention to see if  the chirping continues to come from Rosenstein’s new office at Justice, or whether at some point, it’s silenced.

 

Senate Confirms Rosenstein As No. 2 Official at Justice Department

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rod J. Rosenstein, a veteran prosecutor, was overwhelmingly supported by the Senate to become the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, a position that places him in charge of the investigation into connections between Russia and President’s Trump campaign staff, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The 52-year-old, who impressed the Senate with his record of fighting crime as the U.S. attorney for Maryland for the past 12 years, was confirmed to become the deputy attorney general.

Ultimately, Rosentstein will determine whether criminal charges should be filed against any of Trump’s aides or turn the case over to an independent prosecutor.

Rosentstein still has not said wether he would bring in special counsel.

Nevertheless, Rosenstein said he had “no reason to doubt” that Russian authorities tried to influence the presidential race.

President George W. Bush appointed Rosenstein, a 27-year veteran of the Justice Department, as U.S. attorney. 

Other Stories of Interest

Senate Committee Approves Rosenstein As Deputy Attorney General

Rod Rosenstein, candidate for deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, candidate for deputy attorney general.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The nomination of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general was approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, setting the stage for a full Senate vote.

Senators voted 19-1 in favor of Rosenstein. If the full Senate approves the nomination, Rosenstein will take the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department, the Hill reports. 

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, Rosenstein would be in control of the high-profile probe.

“He is on the American side, not on the Russian side, and I trust that he’ll hold true to that statement,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said.

Washington Post: Senate Should Confirm Trump’s Nominee for No. 2 Spot at DOJ

rod_rosenstein_us_attorneyBy Editorial Board
Washington Post

Though President Donald Trump’s opening weeks have been chaotic and dispiriting, the nation’s new chief executive has still managed to make a few good choices. One of his best was nominating Rod Rosenstein to be the No. 2 at the Justice Department. The sooner the Senate confirms him, the sooner the administration will have another adult in its top ranks. So it’s unfortunate that Mr. Rosenstein faced demands from Democrats at his Tuesday confirmation hearing that no one in his position should accede to.

As deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein would oversee the daily operations of a vast, 115,000-person bureaucracy responsible for enforcing laws on everything from hate crimes to antitrust. After nearly three decades in the Justice Department, serving under presidents of both parties, “Rod Rosenstein has demonstrated throughout his long career the highest standards of professionalism,” Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator praised Mr. Rosenstein’s “nonpartisan” approach and noted his wide support among Democratic officials in Maryland, where Mr. Rosenstein serves as U.S. attorney and has had notable success prosecuting gang crime and political corruption.

Instead of that record, Mr. Rosenstein’s hearing was dominated by the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week from issues involving Russia and the 2016 presidential election. With Mr. Sessions sidelined, Justice Department decisions regarding any investigation into Russia’s meddling and contacts between Mr. Trump’s circle and Russian officials would fall to Mr. Rosenstein.

He assured senators that “political affiliation is irrelevant to my work” and promised to “support any properly predicated investigation related to interference by the Russians or by anybody else in American elections.”

To read more click here. 

Atty. Gen. Holder Appoints D.C. and Baltimore U.S. Attys to Probe National Security Leaks

Ron Machen Jr./doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder assigned the U.S. Attorneys from D.C. and Baltimore to launch criminal probes into national security leaks to members of the media.

In a press release issued Friday, Holder said D.C. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen and Baltimore U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will lead the probes.

The leaks center around the the disrupted bomb plot by al Qaeda and a New York Times story about the U.S. cyberattack program targeting the Iranian nuclear program.

“These two highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Holder said. “I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice, wherever it leads.”

Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting that Targeted Military Recruiting Center

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 22-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Baltimore to plotting to blow up an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property. He had been arrested on Dec. 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be explosives at the armed forces recruiting station.

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in a statement. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said, according to his plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, Martinez broached the subject of  attacking military targets with an FBI confidential source (CS). During the recorded conversations that followed between Martinez, the confidential sources and later, an FBI undercover agent, “Martinez identified his target—an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville—and spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its ‘war’ against Islam.”

The feds  said Martinez attempted to recruit a number of people to join in the plot, and one of them tried to dissuade him from committing jihad.

At one point, the FBI confidential source introduced his “Afghani brother”, who ended up being an undercover FBI agent who posed as someone interested in the plot.