Trump plans to nominate Jeffrey Rosen as Justice Dept. No. 2

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jeffrey Rosen as the next deputy U.S. attorney general, the White House said on Tuesday night, the latest shuffle in the Justice Department at a time when it faces close scrutiny over its Russia investigation.

Rosen, currently deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, would succeed Rod Rosenstein, who appointed a special counsel to investigate possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Rosenstein is expected to step down by mid-March, a Justice Department official said on Monday.

Attorney General William Barr welcomed the choice of Rosen, saying in a statement that he had 35 years of experience at the highest levels of government and in the private sector.

"His years of outstanding legal and management experience make him an excellent choice to succeed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has served the Department of Justice over many years with dedication and distinction," Barr said.

Rosen's nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

He previously served as general counsel in the Transportation Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) but does not have experience as a prosecutor or Justice Department official, which is unusual for a deputy attorney general candidate.

7 PHOTOS
Deputy attorney general nominee Jeffrey Rosen
See Gallery
Deputy attorney general nominee Jeffrey Rosen
In this image provided by the Department of Transportation, deputy transportation secretary Jeffrey Rosen is shown in his official portrait in Washington. President Donald Trump has nominated Rosen to be the next deputy attorney general. (Department of Transportation via AP)
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, arrive to a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, right, smiles while being introduced by Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, during a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey Rosen, deputy transportation secretary nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Transportation, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. During the hearing ranking member Bill Nelson says he told Vice President Mike Pence last night at a White House reception for senators, 'The time might be right for us to consider a bipartisan infrastructure bill.' Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Justice Department oversees the nation's law enforcement and various federal investigations, including the U.S. Special Counsel's Office probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by Trump's presidential campaign.

Rosenstein gained national attention after Trump's former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from the Russia investigation, leaving his then second-in-command to oversee U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

Trump, who repeatedly criticized Sessions over the probe that he calls a "witch hunt," ousted Sessions in November.

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Tuesday that it was possible Trump was a Russian asset.

"I think it's possible. I think that's why we started our investigation, and I'm really anxious to see where director Mueller concludes that," he said.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed accusations hurled at him by McCabe, who told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday that Rosenstein had discussed invoking the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the months after Trump took power.

Rosenstein, who stopped overseeing Mueller's probe on Nov. 7 when Trump named Matt Whittaker acting attorney general, had been expected to leave soon after Barr assumed office. The U.S. Senate confirmed Barr last week.

12 PHOTOS
Rod Rosenstein through the years
See Gallery
Rod Rosenstein through the years
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Rosenstein and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 10: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, center, speaks during a news conference with Alice Fisher, head of the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, left, and U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, during a news conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. McNulty announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force, an effort aimed at the detection, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with increased contracting activity for national security programs. (Photo by Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
SLUG: me/hornsby DATE: August 22, 2006 CREDIT: Ricky Carioti / TWP. United States Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Md. Federal prosecutors announce the indictment of former Prince George's County school superintendent Andre Hornsby. United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, center, flanked by Francis Turner, left, of the United States Department of the Treasury and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Pauze announce the 16-count indictment of former Prince George's County Schools Superintendent Andre Hornsby during a press conference at federal court in Greenbelt on Tuesday. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein talks about the sentencing of Thomas Bromwell Sr. and Mary Patricia Bromwell following their appearance in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, Friday, November 16, 2007. (Photo by Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
GREENBELT, MD JUNE 30:United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein talked with reporters after the Guilty plea of Prince Georges County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson the U.S. District Court on June 30, 2011 in Greenbelt, MD. To Rosenstein's left is Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett of the Internal Revenue Service and to his right is Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 24: Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rosenstein said Carl Lackl was scheduled to be a witness to the Larry Haynes murder but was killed when Patrick Byers plotted his murder from his jail cell. (Photo by Michel du Cille/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, swears in to a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, sits during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The confirmation hearing for Rosenstein began with Republicans and Democrats squaring off over who should lead probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and Trumps campaign team. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Deputy U.S. Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein arrives before the Senate Judiciary Committee for testimony March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. During the hearing, Democratic senators pressed Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor in an ongoing federal inquiry into Russian influence in the U.S. presidential election. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rod Rosenstein, nominee to be Deputy Attorney General, arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

'WONT' BE PUSHED AROUND'

Rosen was nominated to be a federal judge by Republican President George W. Bush in 2008, but did not get a confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate, which was under Democratic control at the time. He was rated "well qualified" by the nonpartisan American Bar Association.

Thomas Yannucci, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis who has known Rosen since 1982, described him as an able legal administrator who will be committed to ensuring the independence of the Justice Department.

"No one's going to push Jeff around. He'll be committed to doing his job," Yannucci said.

Rosen has supported Republican candidates in past elections, although he has not donated money to Trump, federal records show.

Rosen contributed $7,545 to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and $100 in April 2015 to Marco Rubio, one of Trump's rivals for the Republican nomination in the 2016 campaign.

Rosen was a key figure in efforts to rewrite fuel efficiency regulations and set drone policy. He served as the Transportation Department's general counsel from 2003 through 2006 and OMB's general counsel from 2006 to 2009. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Andy Sullivan; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.