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Donald Trump Plans to Nominate Jeffrey Rosen as Next Deputy Attorney General of US: Official

Rosen, currently deputy secretary of the US department of transportation, would succeed Rod Rosenstein, who appointed a special counsel to investigate possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Reuters

Updated:February 20, 2019, 9:33 AM IST
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Donald Trump Plans to Nominate Jeffrey Rosen as Next Deputy Attorney General of US: Official
File photo of US President Donald Trump with Jeff Rosen (L).
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Washington: US President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jeffrey Rosen as the next deputy attorney general, the White House said on Tuesday night, the latest shuffle in the justice department at a time when it faces close scrutiny over its Russia investigation.

Rosen, currently deputy secretary of the US department of transportation, would succeed Rod Rosenstein, who appointed a special counsel to investigate possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Rosenstein is expected to step down by mid-March, an official said on Monday.

Attorney general William Barr welcomed the choice of Rosen, saying in a statement that he had 35 years of experience at the highest levels of government and in the private sector.

Rosen’s nomination must be confirmed by the US Senate. He previously served as general counsel in transportation department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) but does not have experience as a prosecutor or justice department official, which is unusual for a deputy attorney general candidate.

The justice department oversees the nation's law enforcement and various federal investigations, including the US Special Counsel's Office probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by Trump's presidential campaign.

Rosenstein gained national attention after Trump's former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from the Russia investigation, leaving his then second-in-command to oversee US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

Trump, who repeatedly criticized Sessions over the probe that he calls a “witch hunt,” ousted Sessions in November.
Rosenstein, who stopped overseeing Mueller's probe on November 7 when Trump named Matt Whittaker as the acting attorney general, had been expected to leave soon after Barr assumed office. The US Senate confirmed Barr last week.

'WONT' BE PUSHED AROUND'

Rosen was nominated to be a federal judge by Republican President George W Bush in 2008, but did not get a confirmation vote in the US Senate, which was under Democratic control at the time. He was rated "well qualified" by the nonpartisan American Bar Association.

Thomas Yannucci, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis who has known Rosen since 1982, described him as an able legal administrator who will be committed to ensuring the independence of the justice department.

“No one’s going to push Jeff around. He'll be committed to doing his job,” Yannucci said.

Rosen has supported Republican candidates in past elections, although he has not donated money to Trump, federal records show. Rosen contributed $7,545 to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and $100 in April 2015 to Marco Rubio, one of Trump's rivals for the Republican nomination in the 2016 campaign.

Rosen was a key figure in efforts to rewrite fuel efficiency regulations and set drone policy. He served as the Transportation Department's general counsel from 2003 through 2006 and OMB's general counsel from 2006 to 2009.
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