What Rod Rosenstein said about the 'rule of law' is right - but he shouldn't have had to say it

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's ...

Posted: May 3, 2018 9:27 AM
Updated: May 3, 2018 9:27 AM

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's pronouncement Tuesday that the Justice Department must do "what's required by the rule of law" and must remain insulated from politics should not have been necessary. There was a time, not very long ago, when the necessity of a Justice Department free from political influence was not a controversial position. Unfortunately, things have changed and, today, law enforcement is under attack.

Americans have heard the President dismiss the work of career public servants as "an attack on our country in a true sense." The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been tarred as "embarrassment[s] to our country."

These are just a couple of the comments that have justifiably raised suspicion that the President may soon attempt to remove Robert Mueller from his role as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, speculation only further fueled by Wednesday's reporting suggesting Mueller could soon subpoena the President. Firing Mueller would be a grave mistake, and Americans of all political stripes must stand together to do everything possible to prevent it from happening. The stakes are real, and the potential consequences would be far-reaching.

If we want to ensure the sanctity of our democracy, the Mueller investigation must proceed without impediment. The allegations being investigated -- a possible connection between the Russian government and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign -- could not be more serious. And, just as importantly, if allegations of wrongdoing cannot be substantiated, an enormous cloud of suspicion will be lifted off the President and his administration. Whatever the outcome, answers must be uncovered.

Mueller's law enforcement career earned him the well-deserved respect and admiration of both political parties. In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Mueller to a 10-year term as FBI director; he was confirmed by the Senate in a 98-0 vote. In 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Mueller for an unprecedented, additional two-year term, and the Senate again acted unanimously to approve this extension. Virtually all who know him --including myself -- can attest that he is a man of unimpeachable character. It should come as no surprise, then, that many view the attacks on Mueller's integrity by the President and his allies as offensive.

Still more troubling, though, is the danger these threats pose to our democracy. Mueller must be able to exercise his authority, overseen by an independent judiciary, to investigate and prosecute any wrongdoing that he uncovers. The attack on Mueller does not just make his job harder to do, it undermines respect for the law and threatens America's justice system.

In moments such as these, when law enforcement is under attack, we have one important recourse: our elected officials who make the laws. Yet too many lawmakers have turned a blind eye or echoed the President's sentiments. This is unconscionable and it must end.

It is heartening that in the Senate Judiciary Committee, we saw a bipartisan breakthrough when Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina; Chris Coons, D-Delaware; and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, shepherded through a compromise bill to protect the special counsel. But it never should have come to this, and it certainly should not be doomed now by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise never to bring the legislation to a vote in the Senate. Congress must speak out for the independence of our justice system -- and the importance of protecting the special counsel's investigation from interference or undue influence. What's at stake is the basic proposition that defines the American experiment: the notion that our government, as John Adams wrote, is one "of laws, and not of men."

Our justice system relies on the faith of ordinary Americans. This bedrock is imperiled by attempts to impugn the integrity of those who are committed to protecting our democracy -- officials like Robert Mueller. At this critical juncture, we must protect the independence of our justice system and permit it to do its job. It is time for Congress to act, and to ensure the justice system be permitted to work.

Successive generations of Americans have argued, fought and sacrificed to defend a system predicated on the rule of law. We all must defend it again today.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 694320

Reported Deaths: 8142
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1423771859
Ramsey59270950
Dakota52926503
Anoka48822485
Washington31123312
Stearns25308241
St. Louis20783337
Scott19966146
Wright18874163
Olmsted16191112
Sherburne13779105
Carver1232552
Clay930196
Rice9242125
Blue Earth885747
Crow Wing8008102
Kandiyohi751491
Chisago729258
Otter Tail684095
Benton6616102
Mower573938
Winona562752
Goodhue558981
Douglas546484
Itasca529272
Beltrami527572
Steele516521
McLeod516164
Isanti499070
Morrison475763
Nobles454850
Becker449960
Polk442175
Freeborn436040
Lyon401054
Carlton396960
Nicollet386448
Pine381626
Mille Lacs361860
Brown355244
Cass352636
Le Sueur346530
Todd330334
Meeker312649
Waseca295725
Martin270533
Wabasha24874
Dodge24755
Hubbard240441
Roseau237424
Houston209816
Redwood205142
Renville203148
Fillmore202210
Pennington194922
Wadena190527
Faribault183725
Sibley179610
Cottonwood178824
Chippewa173139
Kanabec167329
Aitkin158038
Watonwan156811
Rock142419
Jackson135812
Pope13418
Yellow Medicine127720
Pipestone125826
Koochiching123719
Swift118719
Murray117210
Stevens113711
Clearwater107118
Marshall106719
Lake93221
Wilkin90714
Lac qui Parle89224
Mahnomen7239
Big Stone7034
Grant6918
Norman6749
Lincoln6694
Kittson53922
Unassigned51193
Red Lake5017
Traverse4345
Lake of the Woods4194
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 439050

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
Osceola84717
Decatur76710
Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
Audubon60114
Unassigned5300
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