The White House announced last night, Jan. 31, that President Donald Trump will nominate Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for U.S. deputy attorney general.

Rosenstein, 52, was appointed to his current post by President George W. Bush in 2005 and is the longest-serving U.S. Attorney in the nation. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will likely work under Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is currently undergoing confirmation hearings on his own behalf.

Rosenstein’s nomination came a day after Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates was fired by the president because she instructed lawyers at the U.S. Justice Department not to defend Trump’s temporary travel ban for Muslims.

A Harvard Law School graduate who received his undergraduate education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Rosenstein, a Republican, “has earned praise from both sides of the aisle … despite working in a heavily Democratic state,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

The Washington Post reported that colleagues at the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office told the news outlet that Rosenstein was “widely credited with calming what was then an office in turmoil” when he joined the Maryland office 12 years ago.

During his tenure there, Rosenstein prosecuted such cases as the 2013 Black Guerilla Family drug smuggling operation at the Baltimore City Detention Center and the investigation of former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, who this fall pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI. Currently, Rosenstein’s office is managing the prosecution of Harold Thomas Martin III, a former national security agency contractor who allegedly stole classified documents from the agency.

Rosenstein first gained national attention when Kenneth W. Starr named him to the team of prosecutors handling the Whitewater investigation into President Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Arkansas business dealings.

A Philadelphia native, Rosenstein is married to Lisa Barsoomian, an attorney. The couple have two teenage daughters, Julie and Allison. The family lives in Bethesda.

 

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