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Frosh, Franchot join legal giants in pressing for Rosenstein’s confirmation

Maryland's U.S. attorney is up for deputy attorney general

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. (File)

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. (File)

More than a dozen legal luminaries of both parties have written the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein’s confirmation to be deputy U.S. attorney general, citing his integrity, intellect and inattention to political consequences.

These supporters include former U.S. Attorneys General Michael Mukasey, Alberto Gonzales and William Barr; former U.S. Solicitors General Theodore Olson and Gregory Garre; Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and his immediate predecessor, Douglas F. Gansler; former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot.

The letters were sent as the Senate committee prepares to hold a hearing Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Rosenstein, 52, for the No. 2 position at the U.S. Department of Justice. If confirmed by the Senate, Rosenstein — who served in DOJ’s tax division before his appointment to U.S. attorney by then-President George W. Bush in 2005 — would serve under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“Mr. Rosenstein is an outstanding lawyer, public servant, leader and manager,” wrote Olson, who served as solicitor general under Bush from 2001 to 2004. “I observed his decision-making over the years and found him to have a keen mind, a thoughtful and careful style, and a willingness to listen patiently and respectfully to all sides of an issue and, invariably, to reach wise and sound decisions – reflecting his powerful intellect, but also his judicious and fair manner.”

Frosh, a Democrat, called Rosenstein “intelligent, principled and fair” as well as “an exemplary leader.”

“Rod understands the exponential potential of collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and government institutions, and he puts that understanding into practice,” wrote Frosh, who recalled meeting Rosenstein in the 1990s when the nominee was an assistant Maryland U.S. attorney.

Gansler, a Democrat, said Rosenstein operates “totally by the book” and is “completely apolitical.”

“Rod understands the importance of staying out of the political limelight,” Gansler wrote. “He makes decisions for the right reasons and articulates those reasons with aplomb.”

All of the letters have been posted on the Judiciary Committee’s website.

Bernstein, a Democrat, credited Rosenstein with helping to reduce violent crime in Baltimore and called him “a person who was not interested in personal credit or accolade, but instead, one who created an atmosphere of collaboration that had not been seen in Baltimore for some time. It was much more important to him that everyone was working as hard as they could to fight crime in the city and the rest of the state of Maryland.”

Franchot, also a Democrat, said Rosenstein “has rightly earned the respect and admiration of leaders from both political parties at the state and federal level for his unquestionable integrity, fidelity to the Constitution and our laws, and firm commitment to fighting corruption, violent gangs and criminal organizations, and financial crimes.”

Rosenstein, a Harvard Law School graduate, declined to comment Thursday on the letters or his pending appearance before the Senate committee.

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