Government

Deputy AG Rosenstein Resigns Following Rocky Tenure

The often-attacked deputy AG ends his tenure at the DOJ on a strong note.

Thomas Gallatin · Apr. 30, 2019

On Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation effective May 11. This news comes as no surprise since he announced in February his intention to resign following the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation. Thus ends what can only be termed a rocky two-year tenure for the deputy AG, who endured criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

After the recusal by formal Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding anything related to Russia, it was Rosenstein who was tasked with overseeing the investigation into Russian election meddling — an unenviable position in such a highly politicized environment. In a seeming cave to Democrat demands, Rosenstein appointed Mueller to head the special investigation into supposed Russian collusion following President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, which was reportedly due in part to Rosenstein’s recommendation.

Another of Rosenstein’s rocky moments came from a report that Rosenstein had secretly suggested wiretapping Trump in a supposed effort to invoke the 25th Amendment as a means of removing Trump following Comey’s firing. Rosenstein always disputed that report as inaccurate and Trump said he never believed it. At the time, it looked as if Rosenstein’s days were numbered, but Trump chose to keep him on in spite of the fact that he was responsible for creating the Mueller investigation.

Rosenstein survived an overly politicized Justice Department that saw the firing of Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and FBI agent Peter Strzok as well as the resignation of several other deep-state players. He was a law-enforcement official who found himself in the middle of media frenzy for which he appeared unprepared.

However, in spite of these difficulties, Rosenstein’s resignation letter is one that gracefully refrains from biting back while noting that truth and not partisanship or media frenzy must direct law enforcement. He writes, “I am grateful to [President Trump] 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, because ‘a nation exists to serve its citizens. … We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls. We ignore fleeting distractions and focus our attention on the things that matter, because a republic that endures is not governed by the news cycle.” He concludes, “We keep the faith, we follow the rules, and we always put America first.”

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