Rod J. Rosenstein, whose two-year tenure as the Justice Department’s No. 2 official was spent in the eye of a public storm surrounding special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of President Trump, said farewell Thursday in a ceremony attended by some of the key figures in that probe.
Former White House counsel Donald McGahn was on hand for the ceremony, as was current White House lawyer Emmet Flood. Also in attendance were Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and former attorney general Jeff Sessions.
While Sessions and the current attorney general, William P. Barr, sat on the stage with Rosenstein, former acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker, who also served with Rosenstein, stood in the back of the Justice Department’s Great Hall, largely unnoticed by the hundreds of current and former law enforcement officials there.
Speaker after speaker made explicit reference to or veiled jokes about Rosenstein’s turbulent tenure as deputy attorney general. At times over the last two years, it appeared Rosenstein was on the verge of quitting, or being fired or impeached by fellow Republicans in Congress.
At one point Thursday, a video montage showed images of Rosenstein with his family, and his co-workers, to the theme music of “Band of Brothers,” a miniseries about an Army company that suffered heavy casualties in World War II.
“Things were often a bit not normal,” Sessions said, to laughter from the audience. Rosenstein’s time as deputy attorney general was greatly complicated by Sessions’s recusal in early 2017 from the investigation that emerged from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, leaving Rosenstein to oversee the politically explosive probe.
SOURCE: Devlin Barrett
The Washington Post