Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who left his job May 11, made his decisions “based on what he thought was best for this country,” said former Attorney General Jeff Sessions,.
Sessions, ousted after President Trump spent more than a year complaining about the Russia probe that Rosenstein oversaw, praised Rosenstein’s handling of the investigation at a farewell ceremony Thursday, reports Politico.
Sessions said of Rosenstein. “He stayed the course during some of the most difficult times during the history of the department.”
Rosenstein handed off special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation when Attorney General William Barr took over at DOJ. Barr said he and Rosenstein concluded the evidence uncovered in the investigation was not enough to pursue obstruction of justice charges against the president.
The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Barr in contempt for failing to turn over an unredacted version of Mueller’s report. The attorney general joked that it “must be a record” to receive such a rebuke within 100 days of taking office. Speaking for himself, Rosenstein emphasized the importance of sticking to one’s principles.
“It is most important to follow the rules when the stakes are highest,” he said.
USA Today said the Rosenstein farewell “was transformed into a pep rally of sorts where former and current officials offered stirring defenses of an agency thrust into a harsh spotlight since Mueller’s report was made public.”