The United States Senate approved appointee Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General on Tuesday. The Senate voted 94-6 on Rosenstein’s appointment, making it an easy victory for the nominee. Rosenstein was Maryland’s top federal prosecutor for the last twelve years, and was appointed to the office of attorney under President George W. Bush. Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is quoted as saying of Rosenstein, “He’s not a partisan guy. I’ve had many conversations with Rod over the last decade and none of those conversations have we spoken about what’s politically expedient.”
Rosenstein will be in charge of the investigation into Russia’s influence in the presidential election, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself.
“He is, in some senses, what we value in the Department of Justice: someone committed to the rule of law,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said of Rosenstein. “That’s why I have been surprised and disappointed that he has failed to heed my request.” Blumenthal and other Democrats had pushed Rosenstein to pledge to appoint an independent prosecutor for the Russian investigation.
The Deputy Attorney General position is typically a quiet process, but Sessions’s decision to recuse himself thrust the nomination process into the spotlight.
Rosenstein had said during his committee hearings, “I’m not aware of any requirement for me to recuse at this time.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also provided Rosenstein some cover on the Senate floor and said that Rosenstein privately assured him that an independent prosecutor would be appointed if necessary. “He had developed a reputation for integrity,” Schumer said.
“He has promised to give this issue careful consideration. I believe if he studies the department regulations, he will come to the same conclusion many of us have: that a special counsel is merited.”