I distinctly remember asking my former neighbor — then-U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes — why then-U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein could not be accepted as his nominee to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2007. His response was, “Why if we let them, 'DOJ' [the U.S. Department of Justice] would stock all our appointments with career 'DOJ'-ers with no 'Maryland ties.’”
Fast forward to today and our two senators were not even consulted regarding this important position with the nomination of Robert K. Hur (“Trump picks Robert K. Hur as new U.S. Attorney for Maryland,” Nov. 2). This an abomination for many reasons, including the aforementioned lack of Maryland ties but also that the political process has been completely defeated.
While Mr. Hur (I wish his first name was Ben) has possibly the best resume of any Maryland U.S. attorney nomination, the fact remains he is not a Marylander, having grown up in Los Angeles. This nomination piggybacks on other recent Maryland federal nominations — both parties being at fault — where a Maryland federal judge was appointed having, again, zero Maryland ties except for being anointed by William “Billy” Murphy.
In short, there were several very significant Marylanders with long ties to this state and government service who were denied the nomination. That is fine, a ruling party's prerogative, except President Donald Trump had zero to do with this nomination, which was 100 percent Mr. Rosenstein's. Many have questioned him for a long time, including Mr. Trump. The trouble with Mr. Rosenstein is that he is the sort who believes that all one needs to know in life to be sure of all is what one is taught in Harvard Law School and what the U.S. Attorney's Manual commands.
Yet any mature person knows that is a beginning, not the end of the discussion. While Mr. Hur is surely a fine and good man, he was the very wrong man for this job, and is also very inexperienced to boot in the needed fine points a state-level U.S. attorney should know.