A question of independence
I agree with the point in the March 9 editorial “A strong pick for Justice” that deputy attorney general nominee Rod J. Rosenstein is a career prosecutor with impressive qualifications. But his confirmation is not a question of legal pedigree; it is a question of independence. The need for a special prosecutor is already a matter of public record. Mr. Rosenstein has claimed that he needs to be in office to familiarize himself with the facts before appointing a special prosecutor.
But we already know that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. We know Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with officials of Russia’s government yet said under oath that he did not meet with the Russians.
Mr. Rosenstein was hired by President Trump and can be fired by him. We need an independent investigation into what happened, who knew about it and when. The deputy attorney general cannot investigate his own bosses.
Like any good lawyer, Mr. Rosenstein should consult precedent. In the Watergate era, Elliot Richardson agreed to appoint a special prosecutor before his confirmation to be attorney general under President Richard Nixon. Mr. Richardson knew then — and Mr. Rosenstein should know now — that independence is vital to any investigation of lawlessness at the highest levels of our government. The American people deserve nothing less. Richard Blumenthal, Washington The writer, a Democrat, represents
Connecticut in the Senate.