Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein is being considered for a top position within President-elect Donald J. Trump’s Justice Department, according to two independent sources. (Baltimore Sun video)
WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump will nominate Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general, the White House said Tuesday.
Rosenstein, appointed as the state's top federal prosecutor by Republican President George W. Bush in 2005, is the longest-serving U.S. attorney in the country. He has earned praise from both sides of the aisle in the role, despite working in a heavily Democratic state.
News of the nomination filtered out in mid-January, prior to Trump's inauguration. The White House formally announced the appointment late Tuesday.
The announcement came a day after Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, after she announced she had directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend the president's temporary travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries in court.
Rosenstein, 52, must be confirmed by the Senate. The Senate voted unanimously in 2005 to confirm his nomination as U.S. attorney.
Rosenstein would serve under Sen. Jeff Sessions, assuming the Alabama Republican is confirmed by the Senate as Trump's attorney general.
A Harvard-trained lawyer and Bethesda resident, Rosenstein prosecuted Black Guerrilla Family gang members, inmates and corrections officers who devised a massive contraband smuggling scheme at the Baltimore City Detention Center in 2013.
He alleged a similar scheme at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover last year, — filing the largest federal indictment in Maryland history.
He has also used federal anti-racketeering laws to prosecute violent gangs, and has been applauded for bringing together law enforcement at all levels of government to fight crime.
Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.