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罗德·罗森斯坦辞职:回顾他充满争议的任期

Chris Strohm,彭博社 2019年05月08日

他的做法得到过左派或右派的支持,也引发过他们的愤怒。

美国司法部副部长罗德·罗森斯坦计划于5月11日辞职。他曾任命罗伯特·穆勒担任特别检察官,他的做法得到过左派或右派的支持,也引发过他们的愤怒。此举昭示着他充满争议的任期即将落下帷幕。

在周一给总统唐纳德·特朗普的辞职信中,54岁的罗森斯坦写道:“司法部在重点执法的领域进展迅速。我们执法时无所畏惧、不偏不倚,因为可靠的证据无关党派,真相也不取决于民意调查。”

罗森斯坦是一位经验丰富的联邦检察官,曾在两个党派的总统麾下任职。2017年5月,他任命穆勒调查俄罗斯对2016年总统大选的干涉,以及特朗普和其团队是否“通俄”。面对特朗普和保守派盟友的不断抨击,罗森斯坦力挺穆勒并让这位特别检察官完成调查的举动赢得了民主党的称赞。

去年,众议院的一些共和党人因为有报道称罗森斯坦建议秘密记录特朗普的言辞而呼吁将其解雇,不过罗森斯坦表示报道并不准确。罗森斯坦一度担心特朗普会炒掉他,《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)上周援引一位不具名的政府官员的说法,称罗森斯坦当时对总统表示:“我确保调查的真实可信,我能让这件事平稳着陆。”

妨碍调查之争

而在穆勒于上月提交最终报告之后,罗森斯坦表示穆勒没有找到最够的证据来指控特朗普妨碍调查。为此,民主党人认为他站在了司法部长威廉·巴尔一边而对他提出批评。

实际上,穆勒表示调查并未免除特朗普的妨碍嫌疑。根据他提交的一份于本月公布的编辑版报告显示,之所以没有按照惯例决定起诉,很大程度上是因为根据司法部的政策,在任总统通常不会被起诉。

2017年,罗森斯坦被特朗普任命为司法部的二号人物。乔治·W. 布什和巴拉克·奥巴马在任期间,他在马里兰州担任了12年的律师。1990年,他进入司法部,以不牵涉政治而闻名,致力于改善司法部的工作重点。

巴尔在周一的声明中表示:“在他出色的从政生涯中,他凭借毅力、优雅和良好的脾气度过了许多充满挑战的难关。在我回到司法部的过程中,罗德一直是我宝贵的伙伴,过去几个月里,他的领导力和决断力给了我很多依靠。”

穆勒的调查是罗森斯坦任期中影响最大的一件事。

“激进观点”

罗森斯坦上周在纽约的演讲中表达了怨恨与蔑视,嘲讽那些“收钱在各种话题下发表激进观点的雇佣批评家”,并质疑了奥巴马当局对俄罗斯干预总统大选的应对方式。

他表示:“在我任职之前,针对俄罗斯的调查就已经定下了一些关键决策。上任政府选择不彻底公开有关俄罗斯计算机黑客和社交媒体欺诈的情况。”

罗森斯坦指的是詹姆斯·科米,后者被特朗普开除,才使得穆勒上任司法部副部长。他表示:“这位前FBI局长称总统迫使他结束调查,但总统否认发生过这次谈话。情况就是这样。”

特朗普开除了曾经负责监督通俄门调查工作的科米,随后罗森斯坦聘用了穆勒。

当时,作为特朗普竞选早期支持者的司法部长杰夫·塞申斯要求回避2016年大选的相关事宜,因此罗森斯坦接替他负责调查,并在几天后决定任命一位特别检察官。

在公布有关通俄门调查的机密信息,以及有关司法部和FBI对希拉里·克林顿使用私人邮件服务器的调查过程上,国会的共和党人也与罗森斯坦意见相左。

去年,众议院的共和党人甚至因为罗森斯坦拒绝交出他们认为会揭露通俄门调查可疑原委的内部文件而试图对其发动弹劾。不过随着共和党人失去了对众议院的掌控,弹劾也未能推进。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to resign on May 11, ending a controversial tenure in which he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and took actions that won him praise — and anger — from both the right and left.

“The Department of Justice made rapid progress in achieving the administration’s law enforcement priorities,” Rosenstein, 54, said in his resignation letter to President Donald Trump on Monday. “We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls.”

Rosenstein, a veteran federal prosecutor who served under presidents of both parties, appointed Mueller in May 2017 to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump or any of his associates conspired in the effort. He won praise from Democrats for defending Mueller and letting the special counsel carry out the investigation in the face of constant attacks by Trump and his conservative allies.

Some House Republicans called for ousting Rosenstein last year after a report that he’d talked of someone wearing a wire to record Trump, an allegation he called inaccurate. At one point, fearing that Trump would fire him, Rosenstein told the president, “I give the investigation credibility. I can land the plane,” the Washington Post reported last week, citing an administration official it didn’t identify.

Obstruction Debate

Then, after Mueller submitted his final report last month, Democrats criticized Rosenstein for siding with Attorney General William Barr in announcing that Mueller didn’t find enough evidence to charge Trump with obstructing the investigation.

In fact, Mueller said his investigation didn’t exonerate Trump on obstruction and declined to reach a traditional prosecution decision, largely because of a Justice Department policy that says a president can’t be indicted while in office, according to a redacted version of his report released this month.

Rosenstein was chosen by Trump to be the No. 2 official at the Justice Department in 2017. He had served for 12 years as U.S. attorney for Maryland during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Rosenstein joined the Justice Department in 1990 and had a reputation as a non-political public servant, credited with helping reshape the department’s priorities.

“Over the course of his distinguished government career, he has navigated many challenging situations with strength, grace, and good humor,” Barr said in a statement on Monday. “Rod has been an invaluable partner to me during my return to the department, and I have relied heavily on his leadership and judgment over the past several months.”

No other issue loomed larger over Rosenstein’s tenure than the Mueller investigation.

‘Passionate Opinions’

Rosenstein struck notes of bitterness and defiance in a speech last week in New York, scoffing at “mercenary critics who get paid to express passionate opinions about any topic” and questioning the handling of Russia’s election interference under Obama.

“Some critical decisions about the Russia investigation were made before I got there,” he said. “The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls.”

Referring to James Comey, whose firing by Trump led to Mueller being appointed, the deputy attorney general said “the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred. So that happened.”

Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein after Trump fired Comey, who had been overseeing the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein made the decision to name a special counsel days after he took charge of the probe, which he inherited after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an early Trump campaign supporter, recused himself from matters related to the 2016 election.

Rosenstein also battled with congressional Republicans over releasing secret information about the Russia investigation, as well as information about how the Justice Department and FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

House Republicans last year even drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein for refusing to turn over internal documents that they said would reveal the questionable origins of the Russia investigation. Impeachment never went forward, as Republicans lost control of the House.

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