Jeffrey Rosen: Trump to replace Rosenstein with transportation official lacking prosecutorial or Justice Department experience

President appoints man with zero prosecutorial experience to Justice Department's second most powerful position

Chris Riotta
New York
Wednesday 20 February 2019 15:59
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Donald Trump has announced his intentions to nominate Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rod Rosenstein as the next deputy attorney general.

Mr Rosen, a 60-year-old longtime litigator and the current deputy transportation secretary, serves as the Department of Transportation (DOT) chief operating officer and is in charge of implementing the department's safety and technological priorities.

He rejoined DOT in 2017 after previously serving as general counsel from 2003 to 2006. Mr Rosen lacks any sort of prosecutorial experience and has never held a post within the Justice Department — a reportedly unusual trait for the department’s second most powerful employee.

From 2006 until 2009, Mr Rosen was the general counsel and a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Centre.

Mr Rosen held a variety of positions, including senior partner, at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the same law firm as the new attorney general, William Barr. He spent nearly 30 years at Kirkland & Ellis in a variety of management roles, including acting as the co-head of the firm's Washington office, he told senators at his confirmation hearing in March 2017.

“His years of outstanding legal and management experience make him an excellent choice to succeed Mr Rosenstein, who has served the Department of Justice over many years with dedication and distinction,” Mr Barr said in a statement.

Mr Rosenstein is expected to leave his post in mid-March. The deputy attorney general’s departure had been expected since Mr Barr was confirmed as attorney general last week. Mr Rosenstein has served as deputy for almost two years and it is common for new attorneys general to have their own deputies.

Mr Barr told people close to him that he wanted his own No. 2 as part of taking the job.

Mr Rosenstein began overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. Mr Barr now has control of Mueller's investigation, which is probing Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.

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Mr Rosen, a Virginia resident who is married with three adult children, is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Additional reporting by AP

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