In a column written for Politico, an 18-year-veteran of the Justice Department claimed Donald Trump’s replacement for outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is not up to the job when it comes to overseeing criminal investigations.
According to Julie Rodin Zebrak, who served as deputy chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, appointee Jeffrey Rosen has an impressive legal resume, but it is lacking in how to investigate criminality.
Zebrak notes that Rosen, who is moving over from his position as deputy secretary of Transportation, has “academic accomplishments, legal aptitude, and Washington experience [that] place him squarely on a level with any smart, savvy attorney under consideration for the job, one of the most important in Washington,” before bitingly adding, “He’s no Matt Whitaker.”
However, ” Unlike Rosenstein and many before him, he lacks prior Justice Department experience and—critically—has zero prosecutorial experience.”
“The deputy role is widely known as the hardest job at DOJ, regardless of the administration. In ordinary times, the attorney general is known as the show horse, whereas the deputy is known as the workhorse, given the breadth of evaluation, level of detail and careful consideration that all matters hitting the DAG’s office must undergo en route to the AG and the White House,” she wrote. “For someone who is new to DOJ, its ways of doing business, and its central importance to any White House, this job is far more demanding than Rosen’s current position at the Department of Transportation.”
Zebrak added that Rosen’s lack of experience will put him at odds with career DOJ officials because he will lack credibility on how to proceed with highly-charged criminal cases.
“What should give the Senate pause in evaluating his nomination is that the head of the Criminal Division, the head of the National Security Division, the director of the FBI, the administrator of the DEA and all of the U.S. attorneys will report directly to a potential DAG Rosen who, if confirmed, will lack any meaningful experience over the subject matter for which they are seeking his approval and guidance,” she wrote.
“In effect, Rosen will be learning how to fly a plane while actually flying the plane, but with one arm tied behind his back,” she continued. “In any era, the typical day-to-day schedule requires the DAG to attend meetings and reviews of complicated, sensitive and extremely serious criminal and national security matters. Rosen’s scant track record in these areas makes him vulnerable.”
Summing up, Zebrak praised his legal background but suggested he is entirely wrong for the job, saying his appointment by Trump is suspect.
“While Rosen may be capable and smart, placing someone with no institutional knowledge and without the experience related to DOJ’s core mission, represents yet another assault on the Justice Department as an institution,” she explained. “I hope Rosen treats DOJ with the reverence it deserves, and which Rosenstein has given it under excruciating circumstances. But I don’t know how he can.”
You can read more here.