Rosenstein tells graduates: 'Take ownership of the consequential decisions'

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDOJ kept investigators from completing probe of Trump ties to Russia: report Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book MORE advised a group of graduating law students on Friday to "take ownership of the consequential decisions" that they face and "conduct your own affairs with integrity."

"There is no point in wasting your time complaining about the random events. The key to living a life of integrity is to take ownership of the consequential decisions," Rosenstein said in a commencement address at Campbell University Law School in Raleigh, N.C.

He also urged the students to defend "the rule of law," saying that, as lawyers, they have an obligation to "speak up for the truth."


"You are responsible for defending the rule of law," he said. "If you fail, do not expect me or anyone else to do it for you."

Rosenstein himself has faced a series of difficult decisions in his tenure as deputy attorney general.

After Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRoy Moore sues Alabama over COVID-19 restrictions GOP set to release controversial Biden report Trump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs MORE recused himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia last year, Rosenstein took on responsibility for the probe. 

Shortly after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE fired former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Judge will not dismiss McCabe's case against DOJ Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate MORE, based on the recommendations of Sessions and Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general appointed former FBI Director Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.

Trump has bristled privately and publicly at Mueller's investigation, and speculation has swirled in recent months that the president could dismiss Rosenstein or Mueller.

Speaking to students on Friday, Rosenstein emphasized the importance of acting with "integrity, so you will never need to look back with regret."

"Wherever life takes you, conduct your own affairs with integrity, so you will never need to look back with regret," he said.