Politico reports: Rod Rosenstein was confirmed as the second-ranking official at the Justice Department on Tuesday, giving him the reins of the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal last month.
The Senate backed the veteran federal prosecutor as the nation’s deputy attorney general with a 94-6 vote. The chief complaint among the small group of Democrats who opposed Rosenstein was his reluctance to promise to appoint an independent prosecutor to lead the Russia probe.
“He is, in some senses, what we value in the Department of Justice: someone committed to the rule of law,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the most vocal critic of Rosenstein’s nomination. “That’s why I have been surprised and disappointed that he has failed to heed my request.”
Though the duties of the deputy attorney general are broad, Rosenstein was catapulted into the spotlight after Sessions — a top ally of President Donald Trump — stepped aside from any federal probe of Trump’s campaign. Sessions had not disclosed previous communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak despite testifying that he “did not have communications with the Russians” during his confirmation hearing in January. [Continue reading…]