Published: Tue, April 30, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump's Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein submits letter of resignation

Donald Trump's Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein submits letter of resignation

"As I submit my resignation effective on May 11, I am grateful to you 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 it's citizens, '" Rosenstein wrote. It was his name on the letter describing the justifications for Mr. Trump to fire former FBI Director James Comey, and it was his decision to appoint Mueller, resulting in the special counsel's two-year investigation.

He did not, however, become acting AG when Sessions was ousted in November; Trump entrusted the job to Sessions's chief of staff Matthew Whitaker until William Barr was confirmed by the Senate in February.

Rosenstein planned to leave DOJ months ago, but stayed on board until the release of the Special Counsel report about the 2016 presidential election.

In his letter to the president, Rosenstein lauded the Department of Justice for making "rapid progress in achieving the Administration's law enforcement priorities reducing violent crime, curtailing opioid abuse, protecting consumers, improving immigration enforcement, and building confidence in the police while preserving national security and strengthening federal efforts in other areas".

So it's not terribly surprising that Rosenstein's farewell letter includes unctuous praise of a president who repeatedly interfered with a federal investigation in a manner that investigators were not comfortable describing as legal.

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Mr Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller in May 2017 following the recusal of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and oversaw much of his work. Rosenstein has called the report "inaccurate" and said he never authorized recording Trump.

The deputy attorney general came under withering attack from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who accused him of withholding information from Congress and dragging out the investigation.

Rosenstein's letter went on to say that the nation's elections are safer, the country is more secure and the Justice Department worked to combat fraud, cyberattacks and illegal leaks. "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", Rosenstein wrote. "We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges", Rosenstein said at an event in NY. Mr Trump has nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen as Mr Rosenstein's replacement.

"His devotion to the Department and its professionals is unparalleled", Barr said.

After receiving the final report, Rosenstein and Barr made their own determination, finding there was insufficient evidence to charge the president.

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