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By Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — Rod Rosenstein was “one of the Justice Department’s most important leaders in its history,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday at a farewell ceremony for Rosenstein.

Rosenstein, who as deputy attorney general supervised special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, steps down on Saturday. President Donald Trump has nominated Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy secretary of the Department of Transportation, to be his successor. The full Senate could vote on the nomination as early as Monday.

On Thursday, Rosenstein was praised by Sessions, Attorney General William Barr, FBI Director Chris Wray and other officials during a ceremony in the Justice Department’s ornate Great Hall.

Barr was deputy attorney general when Rosenstein first arrived at the Justice Department in 1990.

“In those days, the deputy job was a lot different. But I’ll tell you now, the attorney general job is a lot different also. This must be a record, of an attorney general being proposed for contempt within 100 days of taking office,” Barr said with a smile.

Reviewing Rosenstein’s record, Barr said: “As a law student at Harvard, Rod interned in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the district of Massachusetts, and the acting U.S. Attorney in that office at the time was none other than Bob Mueller. Bob went on to be assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division where Rod was first assigned as an honors program lawyer. Little did we know that we’d be getting the old band back together again.”

Sessions noted that Rosenstein served during an especially turbulent time.

“When we came in, I had no doubt there would be a lot of controversies during my tenure,” Sessions said. “The office of attorney general frequently finds itself at the vortex of law and politics and separation of powers. But in truth, I have to say, our run exceeded my expectations.”

It was Rosenstein who called for a special counsel and appointed Mueller to lead the investigation, after Sessions recused himself from the Russian meddling investigation because of his role in the Trump campaign.

“He stayed the course during some of the most difficult times in the history of the department,” Sessions said.



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Politics

Boris Johnson set to axe £30billion from EU divorce bill – 'Brussels will need whip round'

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BORIS JOHNSON is set to tell European Union leaders that Britain will not pay the £39billion Brexit divorce bill in the event of a no deal Brexit.

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Biden takes 3rd crack at New Hampshire presidential primary

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The former vice president is well known in the state, but in unfamiliar territory as the Democratic front-runner.

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Trump jumps into N. Carolina special election, ties Democrat to ‘the squad’

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President Donald Trump says he will rally in North Carolina in support of Republican Dan Bishop, who is running for Congress in a special election after voter fraud allegations tainted a 2018 race in the state’s 9th District.

“Looking forward to soon being in North Carolina to hold a big rally for wonderful Dan Bishop, who is running for Congress,” Trump wrote in a tweet Thursday night before attacking Bishop’s Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, without naming him directly. “His opponent wants Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities, and Socialism. He likes the ‘Squad’ more than North Carolina. Dan has my Full and Complete Endorsement!”

Trump didn’t announce a date or time for the rally, but it won’t be the first time he appears with the North Carolina Republican candidate; Bishop, a state senator, spoke briefly at a Trump rally last month.

And as pundits point to the race as an early indicator of the 2020 election cycle, Trump seems keen on deploying his own re-election strategy: tying Democrats to its most progressive fringes, particularly the young, female liberal lawmakers known as “the squad.”

Bishop is running against McCready, a Marine Corps veteran who lost a race for the seat last year against another Republican, Mark Harris. That election result was thrown out earlier this year amid allegations of absentee voter fraud against Harris’ campaign. Harris declined to run again and Bishop won a spring primary for the race.

While political pollsters have yet to give the race much attention, recent internal polling from the McCready campaign showed the candidates in a tie among likely voters in the special election Sept. 10.

Already, national politics have dogged this closely watched race: McCready returned a $2,000 donation from the campaign of squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., this spring, amid controversy over her remarks about Israel.

McCready responded to Trump’s tweet with a call for donations.

“Look, we expected these attacks, but we cannot let them go unanswered,” he wrote in a tweet.



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