Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any involvement in investigations by the Justice Department involving potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the authority to make decisions on the issue — including whether the appointment of a special prosecutor is necessary — falls to the deputy attorney general.
This turn of events gives the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee the power to demand a special prosecutor, if they choose to wield it.
There is currently no permanent deputy attorney general, just Acting Attorney General Dana Boente, a former US Attorney who stepped in after Sally Yates, an Obama appointee, was fired. However, Donald Trump’s nominee, US Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein, will undergo confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee this month.
And those Judiciary Committee members can now ask Rosenstein to commit to naming a special prosecutor before voting whether to send his nomination to the full Senate.
Sessions’s Recusal Gives Senators Powerful Leverage…