Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy AG nominee, pledges to keep politics out of decisions

April 10, 2019

President Trump’s nominee to replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers Wednesday to keep politics out of his decisions, including all matters still ongoing from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“If I am confirmed, I would expect in all prosecutorial matters to proceed on the facts and the law and not any improper political influences,” Mr. Rosen told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, pressed Mr. Rosen on whether he would promise to protect federal prosecutors in New York, who have mounted their own probes into President Trump, his family and his business. He said his vote depends on the nominee’s answer.

“Let me just tell you, your predecessor, Rod Rosenstein, came before this committee. I asked him for his commitment to appoint a special counsel and he refused to provide that commitment,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “I was the only member of this committee who voted against him despite his other qualities.”

Mr. Rosen said he has “great respect” for the separation of powers, but added that he is a Justice Department outsider who has no involvement in Mr. Mueller’s probe. He said he couldn’t go further than his earlier pledge to keep all investigations free from political involvement.

The lack of a promise to protect the Trump investigations clearly agitated Mr. Blumenthal.

“You never served as a prosecutor. You have no background at the DOJ. You have no credibility as a prosecutor or law enforcement official,” Mr. Blumenthal said, raising his voice. ’We need a firm, unequivocal commitment that you will protect those offices from any improper influence.”

“I can tell you that I have a long professional track record and proud of my integrity and professionalism,” Mr. Rosen shot back. “That is not going to change.”

“If the appropriate answer is to say ‘no’ to someone, I will say ‘no,’” he added.