37th Deputy Attorney General of the United States (2017-2019)
Rod Rosenstein was appointed by President Donald J. Trump as the 37th Deputy Attorney General of the United States and sworn in by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on April 26, 2017. He earned a B.S. summa cum laude from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
After joining the U.S. Department of Justice in 1990, Rosenstein prosecuted public corruption cases and conducted preliminary Independent Counsel inquiries. At the start of the Clinton Administration, he served as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno’s deputy.
Working for Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr in the mid-1990s, Rosenstein prosecuted an Arkansas Governor and two other major players for defrauding a savings-and-loan institution in a trial during which President Bill Clinton testified as a witness. He also served for one year as the lead prosecutor investigating claims that Hillary Clinton and other White House officials improperly obtained FBI background files about prominent Republicans.
In the late 1990s, Rosenstein was a federal prosecutor in Maryland, trying a variety of cases in the U.S. District Court and arguing appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Rosenstein returned to the Justice Department at the start of the President George W. Bush’s administration to supervise all federal criminal tax prosecutions nationwide. He also wrote and argued tax appeals and served briefly as acting head of the Department’s Tax Division.
From 2005 to 2017, as the Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Rosenstein set the modern record for longest tenure as a presidentially-appointed chief federal prosecutor. Working first with Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich and then with Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley, he led a decade-long initiative by federal, state, and local authorities that drove crime in Maryland to record lows.
U.S. Attorneys are usually replaced by new Presidents, but Rosenstein served throughout President Barack Obama’s Administration. He managed several federal criminal investigations that garnered national headlines, including the dramatic arrest of a Maryland politician caught with $80,000 in cash bribes concealed in her underwear; the indictment of a violent prison gang whose leader impregnated four jail guards; and the prosecution of a rogue Baltimore City police squad that robbed drug dealers and fabricated evidence. At the request of Attorney General Eric Holder, Rosenstein handled a national security leak investigation that resulted in a guilty plea by the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After the United States Senate approved Rosenstein’s 2017 nomination as Deputy Attorney General by a vote of 94 to 6, he navigated a complex political environment to complete the Russian election interference investigation while working to fill key Department of Justice offices, increase the productivity of the Department’s 115,000 employees, revise outdated policies, confront new cyber threats, improve a dysfunctional immigration system, and reduce violent crime and opioid abuse.
Responding to an impeachment threat by a faction of vocal congressmen, Rosenstein resolutely pledged, “The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. We are going to do what’s required by the rule of law.”