Who is Rod Rosenstein? Here's why he told prosecutors 'it didn't matter how young immigrant children were'

Top department officials were the mastermind behind Trump's child separation policy and Rosenstein was reportedly instrumental in it

                            Who is Rod Rosenstein? Here's why he told prosecutors 'it didn't matter how young immigrant children were'
Rod Rosenstein (Getty Images)

Recently, The New York Times did an explosive report accusing President Donald Trump of tax evasion. They released yet another report regarding a draft investigation report about the top department officials who were allegedly associated with child separation policies, a part of the administration’s immigration policy.

The report states that five US attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by Trump, allegedly retreated in May 2018 "against an order to prosecute all illegal immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents". As per the report, they informed top Justice Department officials that they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

According to the report, then-attorney general Jeff Sessions made it clear what Trump allegedly wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. "We need to take away children," Sessions told the prosecutors, according to the participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: "If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids."

The NYT article also reported that Rod J Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went a step further in a second call about a week later, and allegedly informed the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. As per the report, he allegedly said that government lawyers should not have declined to prosecute two cases on the basis that the children were barely infants. "Those two cases should not have been declined," John Bash, the departing US attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Rosenstein "instructed that, per the A.G.’s policy, we should not be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child".

The NYT report alleged: “The Justice Department’s top officials were 'a driving force' behind the policy that spurred the separation of thousands of families, many of them fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, before Trump abandoned it amid global outrage, according to a draft report of the results of the investigation by Michael E Horowitz, the department’s inspector general."

The report further states the draft report notes: "The department’s single-minded focus on increasing prosecutions came at the expense of careful and effective implementation of the policy, especially with regard to prosecution of family-unit adults and the resulting child separations."

The NYT report also stated that their "article is based on a review of the 86-page draft report and interviews with three government officials who read it in recent months and described its conclusions and many of the details in it. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to discuss it publicly, cautioned that the final report could change."

Who is Rod Rosenstein?

The attorney served as the 37th United States Deputy Attorney General from April 2017 to May 2019. Before that, he served as a United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. 
POTUS had nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the US Department of Justice on February 1, 2017. He was confirmed by the US Senate in April 2017. In May 2017, he authored a memo which was cited by Trump as the basis for his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.

After the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections and related matters. He had previously taken authority over the parallel FBI probe after the recusal of Sessions. The New York Times reported Rosenstein had allegedly prevented the FBI and Mueller from investigating Trump's personal and financial dealings in Russia. On November 2018, Trump handed over the command of this oversight to acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Rosenstein submitted his resignation as Deputy Attorney General in April 2019, which took effect in May that year. He joined the law firm King & Spalding's DC Office in January 2020.

Twitter reacts

After the NYT's latest findings, people started discussing Rosenstein. One user said, "The cruelty IS the point of Trump immigration policy. Rod Rosenstein was a willing collaborator in these #CrimesAgainstHumanity." Another said, "Remind me why anyone ever thought Rod Rosenstein was a 'good guy'? Was it his perfect Ivy League pedigree that got all of you happy about his ethics?"



One opined, "Damn. US Attorneys tried to hold the line on decency citing concern over children's welfare, but were overruled by both Rod Rosenstein & Jeff Sessions. Remember this when they come up for their crimes-against-humanity trials at The Hague." Another said, "This is horrific and Rod Rosenstein deserves to be dragged in front of The Hague for crimes against humanity." One user claimed, "I've been saying this for a long time now that Rod Rosenstein has been a accomplice in all of this, for some reason he had skated through all of this... Hopefully until now!"




One alleged, "Rod Rosenstein rolled w Trump and Sessions on locking babies in cages at the border. Monsters!" Another said, "Border camps horror: 'We need to take away children' 'It did not matter how young the children were' These are crimes against humanity. And it's remarkable that these orders are from Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions, who weren't nearly fascist enough for Trump's liking.





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