Senate confirms No. 2 at Justice; will lead Russia probe

Randall Craig
April 27, 2017

The Senate voted Tuesday 94-to-6 to confirm Rod Rosenstein as the deputy attorney general, the second-highest ranking official in the Justice Department and the person who will oversee the investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the USA presidential election because the attorney general is now recused.

Rosenstein's nomination has been closely tied to the House and Senate Russia investigations, reports CNN.

His March confirmation hearing took on new importance after his new boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, bowed to pressure and recused himself from any investigations related to the campaign, including those on Russian interference.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Rosenstein assured him he would hand the investigation over to special counsel "if one is required".

A Justice Department spokesman did not respond to a question about when Rosenstein will be sworn in.

The senators voting against Rosenstein's confirmation Tuesday were all Democrats: Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.).

"It is a very powerful reminder that there's mounting evidence of criminal wrongdoing in connection with Russian meddling and potential collusion between Trump associates and Russian wrongdoing", Blumenthal said.

Rosenstein has spent almost 12 years serving as Maryland's top federal prosecutor. "And the case for an independent special prosecutor is simply undeniable at this point".

"How I would handle an how I would handle any investigation", Rosenstein said.

The deputy attorney general is responsible for day-to-day operations and oversight of the Justice Department's law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Maryland U.S. attorney has worked for both Democratic and Republicans presidents. The 52-year-old has served as U.S. Attorney for Maryland since 2005 after being picked for the post by former President George W. Bush.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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