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Archive for December 15th, 2020

Jeffrey Rosen to Replace William Barr As Attorney General

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will succeed outgoing Attorney General William Barr after President Trump announced Barr’s resignation in a tweet  Monday afternoon.

In his letter to Trump, Barr said he was “greatly honored” to serve in the administration and would step down on Dec. 23.

The resignation came amid escalating tensions between Barr and Trump, who accused his attorney general of disloyalty for failing to publicly disclose the Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden. Trump also criticized Barr for refusing to parrot baseless claims of widespread election fraud. 

In a tweet, Trump called Rosen “an outstanding person.”

Rosen, who has no prior experience as a prosecutor, was confirmed along party lines to the No. 2 spot in May 2019. Before joining the Justice Department, Rosen, 62, spent much of his career in the private sector but also worked for government agencies, including the Transportation Department and Office of Management and Budget. 

During his time as deputy attorney general, Rosen took leading roles in cases against Google and Purdue Pharma LP. 

In 1979, Rosen graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. In 1982, he graduated from Harvard Law School. 

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Intelligence Officials in Probable Death of Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

For the first time, the Trump administration has officially blamed two Iranian intelligence officials for the abduction, detention and probable death of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, whose 2007 disappearance has been a mystery. 

The administration imposed sanctions on the two high-ranking officers of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Mohammad Baseri and Ahmad Khazai, The USA Today reports.

“No family should ever endure the pain the Levinson family has for nearly 14 years,” the White House said in a statement. “Iran is responsible and can end this nightmare by answering questions for which only they hold the answers. Any future talks with Iran must include resolution to this case.”

The Levinson family said the administration’s actions were “one step in a long road toward achieving justice.”

“Robert Levinson will never come home to his family alive because of the cruel, cynical and inhumane actions of the Iranian authorities,” the family said in a statement. “Because of these men and others like them, our wonderful husband, father and grandfather died alone, thousands of miles from everyone he loved.

“No matter how long it takes, we will find the individuals who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, and we will hold them accountable.” 

U.S. officials believe Levinson, who would be 72 if he was still alive, was likely killed while in Iranian custody after disappearing from the island of Kish, a tourist spot off the coast of Iran. It’s believed Levinson was on a CIA operation at the time.

The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.