Amidst one of the most hectic weeks in American politics this year, the public received news early Monday that Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, would be resigning. These reports instantly dominated the news cycle, despite only being rumors and later turning on its head.
Rod Rosenstein was in charge of appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate allegations that the Trump campaign worked with individuals within the Russian government in order to secure the American presidential election.
Not only did Rosenstein appoint Mueller, but he was also in charge of overseeing the entire investigation. With news coming out that Rosenstein was resigning amidst rumors that he would be fired, it became clear that the White House was trying to remove him from his position of power.
College of Arts and Sciences senior Paul Romero, the president of Creighton College Democrats, said, “With regards to the news surround Rosenstein, the Trump administration is clearly looking for an excuse to fire the Deputy Attorney General so that it can in turn appoint someone to end the work of Special Counsel Mueller.”
Should Rosenstein resign, Trump would have the ability to place someone temporarily into that vacant position. In this case, allowing Trump to appoint someone could lead to his ability to effectively halt the investigation that special counsel is currently completing.
If Rosenstein is fired, there is a succession plan in place that will temporarily place a deputy to the person that departs or another person confirmed by the Senate. If Rosenstein were to be fired, Noel Francisco, the current Solicitor General, would replace him.
With these two possible scenarios, it will be interesting to see where Rosenstein and the Mueller investigation’s futures lie. Now, while these two outcomes may seem to have little effect on the everyday life of American citizens, the situation poses a possible future in which executive power is extended even further without the accountability and checks and balances that we have seen throughout history.
Heider College of Business junior Dominic Matigian, the president of College Republicans, said, “We do not approve how Rosenstein handled the situation by writing an anonymous statement. The conflict of interest he produces through his action is insurmountable.”
The main contention between college Democrats and Republicans seems to lie in whether or not Rosenstein has committed acts that prompt his firing. Matigian believes Rosenstein has a conflict of interest, while Romero said “there appears to be no circumstantial evidence of actions taken that prompt his firing.”