Senate confirms Maryland's Rosenstein as second-in-command at Justice Department

Senate confirms Maryland's Rosenstein as second-in-command at Justice Department

The vote was 94-6 on Tuesday.

Rosenstein's otherwise uncontroversial appointment was thrust into the spotlight this year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would recuse himself from investigations into Trump campaign interactions with Russian Federation.

But Blumenthal said Rosenstein's failure to commit to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russian Federation forced him to vote against the nomination.

Rosenstein will pick up oversight of the Russian Federation probe from Dana Boente, a US prosecutor in Virginia who has been filling in as acting deputy attorney general.

Rosenstein, first appointed to the Maryland post by President George W. Bush in 2005, was nominated to his new job by President Donald Trump. "And the case for an independent special prosecutor is simply undeniable at this point". He was confirmed unanimously in 2005. The moment Rosenstein is sworn in, that probe falls to him.

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"He's not a partisan guy", Baltimore police Commissioner Kevin Davis said of Rosenstein recently.

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.).

Rosenstein, 52, will serve essentially as the chief operating officer of the Department of Justice, reporting only to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and managing most of the department's day-to-day affairs.

"Mr. Rosenstein has claimed he needs to be in office to familiarize himself with the facts of an investigation [but] the relevant facts are all a matter now of public record", said Blumenthal, a former USA attorney. Hundreds of political appointments in the Trump administration remain unfilled.

The Maryland U.S. attorney has worked for both Democratic and Republicans presidents.

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