WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Only two weeks after his Senate confirmation, the new second-in-command at the US Justice Department is falling under intense pressure to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not said what he may do, but he told senators during his confirmation hearing that he would make the decision based on his principals.
Rosenstein, a Republican, is the former US Attorney for Maryland who left office after nearly 12 years with a reputation for non-partisanship intact.
In an April 19 exit interview with WUSA9 in his former Baltimore office, Rosenstein said politics has never entered his decision-making on justice matters.
"I've worked for Republicans and I've worked for Democrats and we've had different priorities in the department but we've had the same commitment to integrity and to ethics and to doing the right thing and to following the rules," Rosenstein said. "It's critical for the department to function apart from politics."
"You follow the evidence and you follow where it goes and you don't pay attention to who may be affected by it," Rosenstein added. "The Department of Justice needs to stand apart from politics and we need to be committed to doing that."
Rosenstein is best known in the D.C. area as the federal prosecutor who unleashed corruption investigations in Prince George's County that brought down corrupt County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie, a County Council member.
Rosenstein is 52 and married with two daughters. The family lives in Bethesda, Md.
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