Sen. Feinstein Worries 'The Justice Department Could Become Politicized'

By Susan Jones | March 7, 2017 | 11:26am EST
Rod Rosenstein and Rachel Brand, President Trump's nominees for deputy attorney general and associate attorney general, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at their confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - President Trump's nominees for Deputy Attorney general and Associate Attorney general appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for their confirmation hearing, which took on added importance, given Attorney General Sessions' decision to recuse himself from any investigation dealing with the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Even before Rod Rosenstein and Rachel Brand testified, the committee's ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called for a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged Russia-Trump collusion -- for which there is still no evidence.

Feinstein also said that being "nice" and having "impressive credentials" are not enough to qualify Rosenstein and Brand for their proposed jobs:

"We need independent, fair-minded public servants who will adhere to the rule of law and look out for everyone in this country, not just the powerful or well-connected. We need steel spines, not weak knees when it comes to political independence in the Department of Justice," Feinstein said.

"And there is a real danger, I believe, that the Justice Department could become politicized."

Later, Feinstein asked Rosenstein if -- given Sessions' recusal from all matters involving the Trump campaign -- he would support the appointment of an independent special counsel to look into Russian meddling and possible Russian connections with Trump associates.

Rosenstein noted that if there were a need for a special counsel, Acting Attorney General Dana Boente, appointed by President Obama, "currently has full authority to appoint one."

He said he would not be in a position to overrule current DOJ officials without having access to the facts that informed their decisions.

Asked to clarify, Rosenstein said, "I think the answer is, I'm simply not in a position to answer that question because I don't know the information that they know." But he added that when he is in that position, he would overrule his predecessors' decisions if he believes they are mistaken.

Rosenstein told the committee he's "willing to appoint a special counsel whenever I determine that it's appropriate, based upon the policies and procedures of the Justice Department."

CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team

DONATE

Connect

Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.