Senate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ

The Senate on Thursday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE's nominee Jeffrey Rosen for the No. 2 spot at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Senators voted 52-45 on Rosen's nomination to succeed former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing MORE, splitting along party lines.

The Senate's vote comes after Rosenstein left the department earlier this month, capping roughly two years in the Trump administration.


The deputy attorney general has typically been a relatively low-profile post, but the position was thrown into the spotlight after Rosenstein took over oversight of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's Russia probe following former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE's recusal.

Rosen, who was formally nominated in March, currently serves as deputy secretary of Transportation. He also previously worked in the George W. Bush administration and practiced law at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm.

Republicans had lined up behind Rosen, guaranteeing that he would be able to be confirmed. With Republicans holding 53 seats, he could have lost three GOP votes and still have been confirmed by a tiebreaker.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) praised him ahead of Thursday's vote, saying he would be a "clear asset" to the Justice Department.

"The president has chosen a nominee with a rock-solid legal reputation, who has served with distinction as deputy secretary of Transportation, and who would be a clear asset to the Department of Justice and to the nation in this new capacity," McConnell said.

Rosen's ascension to the No. 2 spot comes amid an intense fight between Democrats and the Justice Department over demands for Mueller's full report and the underlying evidence. Senate Democrats are also trying to get the Justice Department watchdog to open a long list of investigations into Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeds charge five in international ID theft ring targeting military members, veterans The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Correctional officers subpoenaed in Epstein investigation: report MORE.

Rosen noted during his confirmation hearing that he wouldn't be the first deputy attorney general to not have previously worked in the Justice Department. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.) also defended Rosen ahead of the committee vote, saying that the Justice Department had previously had five deputy attorney generals that did not have DOJ experience.

But Democrats have raised concerns about Rosen's qualifications and his potential role in overseeing probes spawning out of Mueller's sprawling, 22-month investigation. Mueller's team referred 14 cases to other offices.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Trump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel, said earlier this month that she couldn't support Rosen because he would be "learning on the job" and has a "history of partisanship that risks undermining the independence that we have so badly needed."

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' Schumer to Trump: Demand McConnell hold vote on background check bill MORE (D-Hawaii) added that Rosen's "lack of experience with the DOJ, but with his experience in Republican politics, is good for Donald Trump but not good for the country."

Rosen defended his willingness to push back against the White House during his confirmation hearing, telling senators that “if the appropriate answer is to say no to somebody, then I will say no."