In Unprecedented Move, Rosenstein Asks 100s Of Prosecutors To Review SCOTUS Pick's Records

In a somewhat unprecedented move, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has asked the offices of all 93 U.S. attorneys to each provide up to three federal prosecutors to assist the Justice Department in reviewing government records of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Even The New York Times admits this move is "an unusual insertion of politics into federal law enforcement."

While the Justice Department has helped work on previous Supreme Court nominations, department lawyers in Washington typically carry out that task, not prosecutors who pursue criminal investigations nationwide.

Mr. Rosenstein’s email, which had the subject line “Personal Message to U.S. Attorneys From the Deputy A.G.,” included the sentence, “We need your help in connection with President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.”

Former law enforcement officials told the Times that Rosenstein's request is troubling.

"It’s flat-out wrong to have career federal prosecutors engaged in a political process like the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee. It takes them away from the mission they’re supposed to be fulfilling, which is effective criminal justice enforcement," Christopher Hunter, a former F.B.I. agent and federal prosecutor for almost 11 years, told the publication.

But Michael Zubrensky, a former Justice Department lawyer who oversaw the agency's Office of Legal Policy, said Kavanaugh's long paper trail could be the reason for Rosenstein's request.

Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, told the Times that prosecutors have been used in the past to vet Supreme Court nominees. "[T]he scope of the production of executive branch documents we’ve been asked for is many, many times as large," she said.

Rosenstein also wrote that he would need the equivalent of 100 full-time attorneys to work on the nominee's confirmation hearing.

As The Hill notes, Kavanaugh previously worked for President George W. Bush's administration, as well as for the investigation led by Kenneth Starr of former President Clinton. He left a lengthy paper trail that Democrats and outside groups opposed to his nomination are likely to search through for arguments against his confirmation.

Rosenstein has faced pressure from congressional Republicans over his role in overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Democrats have raised the Mueller probe in the context of Kavanaugh's nomination, arguing that he should not be confirmed because he could end up making decisions on the probe itself.

 

Comments

El Oregonian The Alarmist Wed, 07/11/2018 - 20:14 Permalink

All the more reason to "86" the whole lot of excess baggage in our gov't.

If you've got 100's of gov't-paid hack lawyers involved doing ungodly work, and allowed to draw a nice pension and full top-dollar public pay. And mind you, these people act as though they are above the law. Then we have signed our own demise...

In reply to by The Alarmist

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Endgame Napoleon Hudis Muffakah Thu, 07/12/2018 - 07:51 Permalink

How about putting the government-paid lawyers on enforcing immigration LAW? It has not been enforced in 40 years, leading to 40 years of falling wages and 101 US citizens of working age out of the labor market——-displaced by illegals who not only break the law by coming here, but are helped by government to undercut citizens in the labor market since illegals can work for beans when they produce instant-citizen US-born kids that qualify them for free groceries, free rent and up to $6,431 in refundable child tax credits.

Law—what a joke.

The SS trust fund is no longer running surpluses, forcing frequent raising of the cap, yet we have millions of [illegal] aliens, working illegally in this country, strategically keeping their traceable income under the income limits for multiple, pay-per-birth welfare programs.

The FBI does near zero about it.  

It is illegal to work here as an illegal alien, regardless of whether or not so-called law enforcement chooses to overlook it due to the power of the cheap-labor lobby that is subverting the will of voters in a so-called republic. Voting citizens are not represented as much as illegal aliens and their employers. 

It is not illegal to write about legal cases as a US citizen, hired to do that writing as a judge or a lawyer. What justification could there be for using taxpayer money to go through a SCOTUS nominee’s writings, especially in the context of a law enforcement agency? He has free speech rights, even just as a private citizen. 

If they are looking into Kavanaugh’s background, that, too, is likely wasted money. He looks pretty squeaky clean. But, before subjecting nominees to the confirmation hearings, they always check them closely in that respect. One hundred lawyers seems kind of excessive for that task.

Are they going to spread the FBI lawyers out all over the country, asking every restaurant owner what Kavanaugh ordered? Wonder what the Founders would think of the degree of scrutiny that these individuals are subjected to? Meanwhile, our well-investigated leaders never get around to doing what the people put them in office to do.

In reply to by Hudis Muffakah

divingengineer Stan522 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:28 Permalink

It's the Senate's purview to confirm a SCOTUS nominee. WTF has the DOJ got to do with it? Rosenstein is launching a MASSIVE investigation using an unprecedented amount of resources for something that is not his call.  

If this turns out to be a witch hunt and sour grapes between his wife and the nominee's past dealings (Clintons), I think Rosenstein should go to jail.    

In reply to by Stan522

nmewn pc_babe Thu, 07/12/2018 - 06:38 Permalink

It's an important distinction, asking for prosecutors to produce/review/submit documents instead of department attorneys. 

Of course at the same time, with prosecutors in the mold of a Mueller-Schneiderman-Rosenstein the only convictions they can seem to get these days are what are called "process crimes" (like someone misstating something) which they jump on as perjury/lying while the original "crime" is never prosecuted because there wasn't a crime committed to begin with.

Still it shows Rosenstein as the weasley little book-wormish government attorney he was always cut out to be, he never could have made a living in private practice ;-) 

In reply to by pc_babe

Abaco nmewn Thu, 07/12/2018 - 07:27 Permalink

Rosenstein isn't just politically corrupt.  He is financially corrupt as well. Baltimore is ground zero for the opioid crisis.  Used to be his territory as US Attorney for the District of MD.  Loved to prosecute sham cases for publicity value but never prosecuted any of the big cheeses.   Ran a dirty office as far violating discovery rules - easy to get away with unless they screw up or someone blows the whistle. Sat back while government agents from various agencies falsified evidence and reports. There should be 00 prosecutor's looking into that little bitch's records.

In reply to by nmewn

divingengineer onewayticket2 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:37 Permalink

They are investigating Kavanaugh, for what? Even Rosenstein cannot launch an investigation for no reason.  The motivation is crystal clear to me, Kavanaugh worked with Ken Starr to go after the Clintons. Rosenstein's wife worked for Mueller, Comey and Clintons.

They are mortal enemies and Rosenstein is using his official position and government resources to exact revenge upon Kavanaugh.

That is a crime, not bad form, not impolity, not bad manners, it is a crime.  

 

Also, to throw out a different spin. Rosenstein is "beginning an investigation", probably a long one.  How could the senate possibly vote to confirm until the results of the investigation are known? At least that's what they're thinking, if they can delay this past midterm elections, there might be a chance.  If they could make it a two year investigation they could potentially have another president to make the nomination.  

It's nuts, but that's how they think.  Grasping at straws. 

In reply to by onewayticket2

BarkingCat mkkby Thu, 07/12/2018 - 00:40 Permalink

Unless he was given this assignment from above by Sessions or Trump, what he is doing is overstepping his authority again.

He has no authority to review constitutional presidential decisions.

None.

 

I have already heard a legal scholar make the argument that his assignment of Mueller was unconstitutional, as Mueller was given powers not only equal but beyond that of a federal prosecutor.

He lack the authority to do so and in fact usurped both presidential and senatorial authority on doing so.

Principle officers of the US government have to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate.

Fire the smug little asshole!!

In reply to by mkkby

divingengineer Kokulakai Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:45 Permalink

Its not the DOJ's job to investigate presidential nominees. It's the Senate's job to confirm, that usually includes question and answer testimony, not a page by page review of every decision of your career.  

This is truly unprecedented and I can't imagine how Rosenstein thinks this is going to fly. They guy might be having some sort of "episode" or something.  You cannot command government resources for personal vendettas. 

In reply to by Kokulakai