Senate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ

The Senate on Thursday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election 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 RosensteinDemocrats ask judge to force McGahn to comply with subpoena Democrats ask court to force DOJ's hand on Mueller grand jury materials Washington celebrates diplomacy — and baseball — at Meridian Ball 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 MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE's Russia probe following former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWhite House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Sessions vows to 'work for' Trump endorsement 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 McConnellGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy On The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments 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 BarrBarr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: 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 GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens 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 FeinsteinHarris introduces bill to prevent California wildfires Senate Democrats introduce Violence Against Women Act after bipartisan talks break down Harris shares video addressing staffers the night Trump was elected: 'This is some s---' 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 HironoDemocratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream Overnight Energy: Perry replacement faces Ukraine questions at hearing | Dem chair demands answers over land agency's relocation | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan Perry replacement moves closer to confirmation despite questions on Ukraine 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."