Political Editors / Jul. 13, 2018

Rosenstein Issues Unusual Kavanaugh Vetting Request

The deputy attorney general's unprecedented vetting request has everyone scratching their heads.

With all the bad press and negative scrutiny the Justice Department has been under over the past year and a half for its potentially politically motivated decisions, one would image its leadership would be especially wary of wading into any new potentially questionable actions. But who are we kidding? This is the Justice Department we’re talking about.

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had just issued an “unusual request.” Rosenstein sent an email to the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys asking that they submit several federal prosecutors to help vet President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Flores explained, “The scope of the production of executive branch documents we’ve been asked for is many, many time as large” as recent prior nominees. In his email, Rosenstein estimated that he would need at least 100 full-time lawyers working on the Kavanaugh vetting process.

To be accurate, it is not unprecedented for federal prosecutors to help vet a nominee. However, as the Washington Examiner notes, “It is unprecedented that a deputy attorney general would solicit assistance from all U.S. attorney offices.” Rosenstein writes in the email, “We need your help in connection with President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.”

The Times quotes Christopher Hunter, a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor currently running for Congress on the Democrat ticket, who states, “It’s flat-out wrong to have career federal prosecutors engaged in a political process like the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee. It takes them away from the mission they’re supposed to be fulfilling, which is effective criminal justice enforcement.”

Is Rosenstein’s request yet another example of deep-state meddling? Or is it just the opposite? Has Trump, alerted to the fact that Democrats are working to throw anything and everything at Kavanaugh, directed the DOJ to seek out any possible compromising material in order to better preempt a Democrat “bombshell” revelation? In other words, is this more Trump’s doing than Rosenstein’s? Or is this the work of the #Resistance working to find any dirt on Kavanaugh so as to help derail his confirmation?

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