President Trump's pick to be the U.S. deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein is not letting in any tricky questions from Democratic senators of the Senate Judiciary Committee lead to incriminate himself. Several Democratic senators posed tricky questions to Rosenstein during the recent nomination hearing. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa threatened to hold up his nomination to be the No. 2 of Attorney General Jeff Sessions until the committee is fully briefed by the FBI about whether it has begun a full criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's elections.
The Washington Times chronicled a bit the recent grilling of Democratic senators to Maryland U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said that she was going to ask him to read the classified Russian reports before his nomination came up. "Will you read those reports?" Feinstein asked. But Rosenstein dug in, saying that if he becomes the deputy attorney general it would be essential for him to read those reports including the classified one, if there is such. But he added he was not authorized to do that during the hearing, having no role on the investigation.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, on the other hand, said he would block Rosenstein's confirmation unless he agrees to appoint a special prosecutor for the investigation, adding it is "you (who) have the power to appoint a special prosecutor." Mr. Blumenthal said that the United States is at the edge of a "constitutional crisis." But Rosenstein replied, "You view it as an issue of principle that I need to commit to appoint a special counsel in a matter that I don't even know if it's being investigated." Blumenthal bluntly told Rosenstein that in his view it is an issue of principle that he should not promise to take action on a particular case.
If Mr. Rosenstein would be confirmed the Justice Department's second-in-command he would oversee any investigations related not only to the Trump campaign, but also to the president's transition after the Nov. 8 election. It appears however that Rosenstein can survive Grassley's committee similar to hearing Tuesday last week but in the next he has to hurdle more tough questions about Russia's clandestine interference in U.S. politics, the behind-the-scenes attempts to influence the presidential election in Trump's favor.