Rod Rosenstein

Rod Jay Rosenstein (/ˈroʊzənˌstaɪn/;[2] born January 13, 1965) is an American attorney serving as United States Deputy Attorney General since 2017. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.[3] At the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2017, he was the nation's longest-serving U.S. Attorney.[4] Rosenstein had also been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2007, but his nomination was never considered by the U.S. Senate.[5]

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. Rosenstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2017. In May 2017, he authored a memo that President Trump cited as the basis for his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.[6]

Following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections and related matters.[7] Rosenstein previously assumed authority over the parallel FBI probe after the recusal of former attorney general Jeff Sessions over misleading remarks he made to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary during his confirmation process. On November 7, 2018, Trump transferred command of this oversight to acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.[8][9][10][11] It was reported in January 2019 that Rosenstein was expected to resign in the first half of the calendar year.[12]

Rod Rosenstein
Rod Rosenstein official portrait
37th United States Deputy Attorney General
Assumed office
April 26, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Attorney General
Preceded bySally Yates
Succeeded byJeffrey A. Rosen (nominee)
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland
In office
July 12, 2005 – April 26, 2017
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byThomas M. DiBiagio
Succeeded byRobert K. Hur
Personal details
Born
Rod Jay Rosenstein

January 13, 1965 (age 54)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
Spouse(s)Lisa Barsoomian
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BS)
Harvard University (JD)
Signature
Rod Rosenstein's signature

Background

Early life and family

Rod J. Rosenstein was born in Philadelphia on January 13, 1965,[13][14] to Robert, who ran a small business, and Gerri Rosenstein, a bookkeeper and local school board president. He grew up in Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania.[15] He has one sister, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[16][17]

Education and clerkship

Rosenstein attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in economics.[18]

After graduating from Penn, Rosenstein attended Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. While at Harvard, Rosenstein landed an internship with then acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Robert Mueller. Rosenstein graduated cum laude in 1989 with a Juris Doctor degree.[18] He then served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[19] He was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School in 1997–98.[20]

Career

Early career

Independent-Counsel-Office-Group
Rosenstein during his time working for the Independent Counsel. Brett Kavanaugh, Alex Azar, and Ken Starr are present

After his clerkship, Rosenstein joined the United States Department of Justice through the Attorney General's Honors Program. From 1990 to 1993, he prosecuted public corruption cases as a trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division, then led by Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller.[18][21]

During the Clinton Administration, Rosenstein served as Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann (1993–1994) and Special Assistant to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris (1994–1995). Rosenstein then worked in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel under Ken Starr on the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton.[22] As an Associate Independent Counsel from 1995 to 1997, he was co-counsel in the trial of three defendants who were convicted of fraud, and he supervised the investigation that found no basis for criminal prosecution of White House officials who had obtained FBI background reports.[18]

United States Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia hired Rosenstein as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in 1997.[18]

From 2001 to 2005, Rosenstein served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice. He coordinated the tax enforcement activities of the Tax Division, the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the IRS, and he supervised 90 attorneys and 30 support employees. He oversaw civil litigation and served as the acting head of the Tax Division when Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor was unavailable, and he personally briefed and argued civil appeals in several federal appellate courts.[23]

U.S. Attorney

President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on May 23, 2005. He took office on July 12, 2005, after the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.[21][23]

As United States Attorney, he oversaw federal civil and criminal litigation, assisted with federal law enforcement strategies in Maryland, and presented cases in the U.S. District Court and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[23] During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Rosenstein successfully prosecuted leaks of classified information, corruption, murders and burglaries, and was "particularly effective taking on corruption within police departments." [24]

Rosenstein secured several convictions against prison guards in Baltimore for conspiring with the Black Guerrilla Family.[22] He indicted Baltimore police officers Wayne Jenkins, Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor, and Maurice Ward for racketeering.[25] Rosenstein, with the aid of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration, secured convictions in large scale narcotics cases in the District of Maryland, including the arrest and conviction of Terrell Plummer,[26] Richard Christopher Byrd,[27][28] and Yasmine Geen Young.[29]

The Attorney General appointed Rosenstein to serve on the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, which evaluates and recommends policies for the Department of Justice. He was vice-chair of the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittees on White Collar Crime, Sentencing Issues and Cyber/Intellectual Property Crime. He also served on the Attorney General's Anti-Gang Coordination Committee.

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Rosenstein to prosecute General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for leaking to reporters.[22] Cartwright pled guilty, but was later pardoned.[22]

Rosenstein served as the U.S. Attorney in Maryland at a time when murders in the state dropped by about a third, which was double the decline at the national level. Robberies and aggravated assaults also fell faster than the national average. According to Thiru Vignarajah, the former deputy attorney general of Maryland, "Collaboration between prosecutors, police, and the community combined with a dogged focus on violent repeat offenders was the anchor of Rosenstein’s approach." Rosenstein regarded the heroin and opioid epidemic as a public health crisis, hired a re-entry specialist to help ex-offenders adjust to life outside of prison, and prosecuted several individual cases of corrupt police officers.[30]

Judicial nomination

In 2007, President Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Maryland's Democratic United States Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, blocked Rosenstein's nomination, claiming he did not have strong enough ties to Maryland.[31]

Deputy Attorney General of the United States

Nomination and confirmation

Rod Rosenstein swearing in 02
Rosenstein being sworn in as Deputy Attorney General

President Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017.[32][33] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017, to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Trump declined his resignation.[34] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6.[35][36]

Comey memo

On May 8, 2017, President Trump directed Sessions and Rosenstein to make a case against FBI Director James Comey in writing. The next day, Rosenstein handed a memo to Sessions providing the basis for Sessions's recommendation to President Trump that Comey be dismissed.[37][38] In his memo Rosenstein asserts that the FBI must have "a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them". He ends with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to "admit his errors" but that there is no hope that he will "implement the necessary corrective actions."[39]

Some critics argued that Rosenstein, in enabling the dismissal of Comey amid an investigation into Russian election interference, damaged his own reputation.[40][41][42][43][44]

After administration officials cited Rosenstein's memo as the main reason for Comey's dismissal, an anonymous source in the White House said that Rosenstein threatened to resign.[45] Rosenstein denied the claim and said he was "not quitting," when asked directly by a reporter from Sinclair Broadcast Group.[46][47]

On May 17, Rosenstein told the full Senate he knew that Comey would be fired before he wrote his controversial memo that the White House initially used as justification for President Trump firing Comey.[48]

Special counsel appointment

On May 17, 2017 Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to conduct the investigation into "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" as well as any matters arising directly from that investigation.[49] Rosenstein's order authorizes Mueller to bring criminal charges in the event that he discovers any federal crimes.[49] Rosenstein said in a statement, "My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command."[50]

In an interview with the Associated Press, Rosenstein said he would recuse from supervision of Mueller, if he himself were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in the dismissal of James Comey.[51] Under that scenario, supervision would have fallen to DOJ's third-ranking official, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[52] Rachel Brand resigned on February 20, 2018,[53] leaving the responsibility to Jesse Panuccio.

Michael Cohen investigation

In April 2018, Rosenstein reportedly personally approved the FBI raid on President Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, in which the FBI seized emails, tax documents and records, some of them related to Cohen's payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.[54][55] After ad interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had recused himself, the search was executed by others in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and approved by a federal judge.[56]

Impeachment articles

Eleven House GOP members filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on July 25, 2018, alleging he has stonewalled document requests from Congress and he mishandled the 2016 election investigation. Rosenstein has denied the allegations.[57][58] No such impeachment was brought to the floor, with Ryan and Meadows backing down.[59] Subsequently, it was revealed that Devin Nunes wanted to impeach Rosenstein, but was concerned that attempting to do so would delay the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.[60]

The New York Times report

On September 21, 2018, The New York Times reported that Rosenstein suggested, in the spring of 2017 shortly after the dismissal of Comey, that he could secretly tape conversations between himself and Trump, using those recordings against Trump. He also allegedly suggested invoking the 25th amendment to attempt to remove Trump from office.[61][62] Rosenstein strongly denied it, and other reporting suggested he had been sarcastic in his reference to taping Trump.[63][64] The report gave rise to rumors that he would be fired.[65]

Former deputy FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe stated in a February 2019 60 Minutes interview that during the days after Comey was fired, "the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president," including the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to have Trump removed from office. Rosenstein again denied such discussions occurred.[66]

Rosenstein went to the White House on September 24, where he met with Chief of Staff John Kelly; according to some reports, he offered his resignation.[67][68] Following the meeting, the White House issued a statement that Rosenstein retained his position as Deputy Attorney General and would meet with Trump on September 27.[69] Due to the ongoing hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Rosenstein met with Trump on October 8; Rosenstein would not be fired afterwards.[70][71][72] Further, Rosenstein agreed to meet with House Republicans within the next two weeks.[73][74]

Transfer of Mueller oversight and departure

On November 7, 2018, Trump transferred oversight of Mueller's investigation to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, and later to William Barr upon his confirmation as Attorney General.[8][9][10][11] Rosenstein was expected to step down from his position in mid-March.[75][76] On February 19, 2019, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Jeffrey A. Rosen for the position of Deputy Attorney General.[77]

Personal life

Rosenstein is married to Lisa Barsoomian, an Armenian American lawyer who worked for the National Institutes of Health until 2011. They have two daughters.[78] During her 24 years of law practice, as a government attorney Barsoomian has defended cases for Bill Clinton and Colin Powell, various Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases, and the FBI's "Carnivore" surveillance system, which monitors and captures e-mail.[79][80]

Rosenstein is a registered Republican,[81][82] "but he has made no campaign donations to any political candidates, according to election records".[1]

Rosenstein has served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes on federal criminal prosecution at the University of Maryland School of Law and trial advocacy at the University of Baltimore School of Law.[13]

He was a member of Washington D.C.'s Temple Sinai, a Reform Jewish congregation, from 2008 to 2014.[83] According to a questionnaire that Rosenstein completed ahead of a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a member of a Jewish Community Center's sports league from 1993 to 2012.[83] Rosenstein served on the board of directors of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2001 to 2011.[83]

Rosenstein lives in Bethesda, Maryland.[84]

See also

References

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Sources

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Rod J. Rosenstein, District of Maryland". from the U.S. Department of Justice

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas M. DiBiagio
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland
2005–2017
Succeeded by
Robert K. Hur
Preceded by
Dana Boente
Acting
United States Deputy Attorney General
2017–present
Succeeded by
Jeffrey A. Rosen
Nominee
Assistant United States Attorney

An Assistant United States Attorney (also known as AUSA) is an attorney employed by the federal government of the United States and working under the supervision of a United States Attorney. In 2008, there were approximately 5,300 Assistant United States Attorneys employed by the U.S. Government. As of 2014 they earned a starting salary of $50,287.

Dana Boente

Dana James Boente ( BEN-tay; born February 7, 1954) is the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He also served as acting assistant attorney general for the National Security Division of the United States Department of Justice. On October 27, 2017, Boente announced he would resign from the Department of Justice after a successor is in place. On January 23, 2018, Boente was named general counsel to the FBI by the director Christopher A. Wray, filling the vacancy after James Baker's reassignment to another part of the bureau.

Dismissal of James Comey

James Comey, the seventh director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was dismissed by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Comey had been criticized in 2016 for his handling of the FBI's investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy and in 2017 for the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections as it related to possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter in which he stated that he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In the following days, he gave numerous explanations of the dismissal that contradicted his staff and also belied the initial impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision. Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey; it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter, and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it. He also stated that dismissing Comey relieved unnecessary pressure on his ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" the investigation. Trump was reportedly "enormously frustrated" that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation. After his dismissal, Comey publicly testified to the Congress that he told Trump, on three occasions, that he was not personally under investigation in the counterintelligence probe.Shortly after his termination, in a move that he hoped would prompt a special counsel investigation, Comey asked a friend to share excerpts from a memo he had written when he was FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017, with the press. According to Comey, Trump had asked him to "let go" of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before. In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump's acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others disagreed.Following Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate into Russian meddling and related issues that Comey had supervised during his tenure. Trump criticized the investigation as a "witch hunt" on numerous occasions. On March 22, 2019, Mueller submitted the special counsel's final report to Attorney General William Barr. On March 24, Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress highlighting Mueller's findings.

Federal Wire Act

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961, often called the Federal Wire Act, is a United States federal law prohibiting the operation of certain types of betting businesses in the United States. It begins with the text:

Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

In September 2011, the US Department of Justice released to the public a formal legal opinion on the scope of the Act concluding, "interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a 'sporting event or contest' fall outside the reach of the Wire Act."A new Department of Justice opinion dated November 2, 2018 reversed the 2011 opinion, declaring that the Wire Act’s prohibitions are “not uniformly limited to gambling on sporting events or contests.”The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Wire Act prohibition on the transmission of wagers applies only to sports betting and not other types of online gambling. The Supreme Court has not ruled on the meaning of the Federal Wire Act as it pertains to online gambling. In an opinion issued November 2018 and published January 2019, the Department of Justice stated that the Federal Wire Act applies to all gambling and not just sports betting.On January 15, 2019, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the Department of Justice would delay enforcement of the 2018 OLC opinion for 90 days to “give businesses that relied on the 2011 OLC opinion time to bring their operations into compliance with federal law."On February 15, 2019, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission filed a complaint in the US District Court for New Hampshire, naming the Department of Justice and Attorney General William Barr as defendants. The suit asks the Court to vacate and set aside the OLC’s new opinion, which the Commission claims will reduce its annual profits by millions of dollars. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said the state wasn’t interested in negotiating an out-of-court settlement, “we’re looking to win.”

Impeachment investigations of United States federal officials

Numerous federal officials in the United States have been threatened with impeachment and removal from office. The majority of impeachment investigations that have taken place have not resulted in convictions.

Jeffrey A. Rosen

Jeffrey Adam Rosen (born April 2, 1958) is an American lawyer who serves as United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Prior to assuming his current role, he was a senior partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

On February 19, 2019, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Rosen for the position of United States Deputy Attorney General, succeeding Rod Rosenstein upon his departure from the Department of Justice. His nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

List of Wasserstein Fellows

The Wasserstein Public Interest Fellows Program recognizes exemplary members of the bar who engage in public service. The program, founded in 1990 defines public service as "law-related work for governmental agencies, legal services providers, prosecutors, public defenders, private public interest law firms, nonprofit organizations and international organizations that provide legal assistance, conduct research, or engage in other activities aimed at advancing the common good." Academics and judges are ineligible for nomination (although they may go on to those roles). Fellows are invited to Harvard Law School to interact with students.

Shara L. Aranoff

Denise J. Casper United States District Judge Massachusetts

Brian Concannon

Paul J. Fishman United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey

Andrew Fois

Terry Goddard

Edmund V. Ludwig Federal District Judge

John A. Powell

Pierre-Richard Prosper

Jonathan Rapping a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award

Rod Rosenstein Deputy Attorney General of the United States

Reggie Shuford

James E. Tierney

Leslie Winner

Lower Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Lower Moreland Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 12,982 at the 2010 census.

Mueller Report

The Mueller Report, formally titled Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, is the official report documenting the findings and conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 United States presidential election, allegations of conspiracy or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, and allegations of obstruction of justice. The report was submitted to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, 2019, and a redacted version of the 448-page report was publicly released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 18, 2019. It is divided into two volumes and four appendices.

Volume I of the report concluded that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election did occur "in sweeping and systematic fashion" and "violated U.S. criminal law". It listed two methods by which Russia attempted to influence the election: firstly, a social media campaign by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) which supported the Trump presidential campaign, attacked the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and aimed to "amplify political and social discord", and secondly, Russian intelligence GRU conducting computer hacking and strategic releasing of damaging material from the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations. The report identified multiple contacts between Trump campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government, about which several persons connected to the campaign made false statements and obstructed investigations. However, the investigation did not establish that the campaign "coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities", and did not pursue any charges under conspiracy statutes and statutes governing foreign agents, with the exception of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates who were found guilty of criminal offenses stemming from their prior lobbying work for the Ukrainian Party of Regions.Volume II of the report addressed obstruction of justice. The investigation intentionally took an approach that could not result in a judgment that Trump committed a crime, and refrained from charging him because investigators abided by an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion that a sitting president cannot stand trial, feared that charges would affect Trump's governing and possibly preempt impeachment, and were concerned with fairness issues had they accused Trump of a crime with no charges and no trial. As such, the investigation "does not conclude that the President committed a crime"; however, "it also does not exonerate him." This was because investigators were not confident that Trump was innocent after examining his intent and actions. The report describes ten episodes where Trump could potentially have obstructed justice while president and one before he was elected, noting he privately tried to "control the investigation" in multiple ways, but mostly failed to influence the investigation because his aides refused to carry out his instructions. The Special Counsel's office also concluded that Congress can decide whether Trump obstructed justice, and that it has the authority to take action against him in reference to potential impeachment proceedings."The Special Counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime," Attorney General Barr said in his letter on March 24. "Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense." Upon public release of the redacted report, numerous legal analysts identified significant differences between Barr's characterizations of its findings and what the report actually states.

National Institute of Corrections

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is an agency of the United States government. It is part of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons.NIC provides support programs to assist federal, state, and local corrections agencies. Additionally the NIC provides funds to support programs that are in line with its key initiatives.The NIC was created by the United States Congress in 1974 on the recommendation of the National Conference on Corrections convened by John N. Mitchell in 1971. Mitchell called for the conference as a result of public pressure following the riot at New York's Attica Correctional Facility in 1971.

Peter Strzok

Peter Paul Strzok II (, like struck; born March 7, 1970) is a former United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section and led the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server.Strzok rose to become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division. He also led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.In June and July 2017, Strzok worked on Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation into any links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation when Mueller became aware of criticisms of Trump contained in personal text messages exchanged between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were having an extramarital affair. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Mueller's response to the text messages.

The revelation of the text messages led Republican congressmen and right wing media to start pushing conspiracy theories to the effect that Strzok was involved in a secret plot to undermine the Trump presidency.A comprehensive review in February 2018 of Strzok's messages by The Wall Street Journal concluded that "texts critical of Mr. Trump represent a fraction of the roughly 7,000 messages, which stretch across 384 pages and show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump".On August 10, 2018, David Bowdich, the FBI deputy director, fired Strzok.

Robert Mueller

Robert Swan Mueller III (; born August 7, 1944) is an American lawyer, government official, and Marine who served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), from 2001 to 2013. From May 2017 to March 2019, he was the Special Counsel of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters.

A graduate of Princeton University and New York University, Mueller served as a Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam War, receiving a Bronze Star for heroism and a Purple Heart. He subsequently attended the University of Virginia School of Law. Mueller is a registered Republican in Washington, D.C., and was appointed and reappointed to Senate-confirmed positions by presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.Mueller has served both in government and private practice. He was an assistant United States attorney; a United States attorney; United States assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division; a homicide prosecutor in Washington, D.C.; acting United States deputy attorney general; and director of the FBI. Mueller was also a partner at the D.C. law firm WilmerHale before being appointed as special counsel.

On May 17, 2017, Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as special counsel overseeing an investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and related matters. Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr on March 22, 2019. On April 18, 2019, the Department of Justice released the special counsel's final report.

Scott Schools

Scott Newton Schools is the highest-ranking career civil servant at the United States Department of Justice, serving as Associate Deputy Attorney General. He has been characterized as “the most important unknown person in D.C.”It has been reported that School was a significant advisor to top political officials Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein, and made a significant recommendation to dismiss James Comey.Earlier in his career, Schools had served as U.S. Attorney for South Carolina and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.

Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (S. 2644) is a proposed United States law that would impose restrictions on the firing of a special counsel appointed by the United States Attorney General.

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs

The Office of Legislative Affairs is a division within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibility is for the development and implementation of strategies to advance the department's legislative initiatives and other interests relating to Congress. Stephen Boyd is the current Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs.

United States Attorney for the District of Maryland

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the State of Maryland. Robert K. Hur is the United States Attorney for the District.

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has jurisdiction over all cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney.

United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

The Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters (such as in cases before the Supreme Court), and running the federal prison system. The department is also responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The current Attorney General is William Barr.

United States Department of Justice Justice Management Division

The Justice Management Division (JMD) is a division of the United States Department of Justice. It is the administrative arm of the Department of Justice. Its mission is to support the some 40 senior management offices (SMOs), offices, bureaus, and divisions (collectively called components) of the DOJ. It was formerly called the Office of Management and Finance.

United States Deputy Attorney General

The United States Deputy Attorney General is the second highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice and oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department. The deputy attorney general acts as attorney general during the absence of the attorney general.

The deputy attorney general is a political appointee of the President of the United States and takes office after confirmation by the United States Senate. The position was created in 1950. Since April 26, 2017, Rod Rosenstein has been deputy attorney general.

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