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Tag: Deputy Attorney General

Rosenstein Defends Appointment of Mueller But Said FBI Misled Him on Carter Page Surveillance

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday defended his decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate Russia’s election meddling, but blamed top-level FBI officials for “significant errors.”

“I still believe it was the right decision under the circumstances,” Mr. Rosenstein told the Senate Judiciary Committee about appointing Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel, The New York Times reports. “I recognize that people can criticize me for them. That’s the consequence of being in these jobs — you make decisions and people criticize you for them — but I believed it was the right decision at the time.”

Rosenstein, however, said he signed applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page based on erroneous information and omissions.

The Republican-led committee is ramping up its investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Ex-Deputy AG Rosenstein to Testify Before Senate Committee about FBI’s Probe of Trump’s Campaign

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is set to testify next week at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about the FBI’s investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Mr. Rosenstein will testify about the new revelations contained in the Horowitz report concerning the FISA warrant applications and other matters,” Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said in a statement, KTLA5 reports. “This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation.”

Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russia’s meddling in the campaign in 2017.

Rosenstein is expected to be the only witness during the hearing on Wednesday.

Internal Watchdog Discovers DOJ Official Viewed Porn on Government Computers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A deputy assistant attorney general was looking at “sexually explicit” material on two Justice Department computers and later lied about it, according to a report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The unnamed DOJ official was interviewed twice by the watchdog’s office and then resigned before the investigation was complete.

Horowitz report stated that a “forensic examination of two DOJ computers issued to the DAAG determined that the computers contained data regarding numerous sexually explicit website searches, visits to websites hosting sexually explicit videos, sexually explicit search engine terms, and sexually explicit images.”

During the investigation, Horowitz concluded the official “made false statements under oath.”

In second interview after the internal investigation uncovered forensic evidence, the official “ultimately admitted” that he or she “may have” accessed pornorgraphy on government computers.

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.