Attorney General

Trump will nominate former Kirkland partner to replace Rosenstein at DOJ

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Jeffrey Rosen

Jeffrey A. Rosen. Photo from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

President Donald Trump will nominate the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Jeffrey A. Rosen, to replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

Rosen is a former senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis, where Attorney General William Barr was of counsel before he was nominated to lead the Department of Justice. The Washington Post, Bloomberg, the Associated Press, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal have coverage.

The Wall Street Journal describes Rosen as a “seasoned bureaucrat” who is known in the Transportation Department “as a sharp and apolitical lawyer familiar with the levers and gauges of government.” But critics point out that, although Rosen will be overseeing federal prosecutors, he has never worked in the DOJ and has never been a federal prosecutor.

Barr said in a statement that Rosen “has more than 35 years’ experience litigating complex matters in state and federal courts.” In his current No. 2 position at the Transportation Department, he leads 50,000 employees.

Rosen previously was general counsel at the Transportation Department and general counsel and senior policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget. “His years of outstanding legal and management experience make him an excellent choice to succeed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has served the Department of Justice over many years with dedication and distinction,” Barr said.

Rosenstein has supervised special counsel Robert Mueller after previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter. Rosen likely will not have that responsibility, however, becauseBarr has not said he will recuse himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump tweeted criticism of Rosenstein on Monday after former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in a 60 Minutes interview that he had discussed with Rosenstein the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

McCabe “and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught,” Trump tweeted here and here. “This was the illegal and treasonous ‘insurance policy’ in full action!”

Rosenstein is expected to leave his job in mid-March.

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