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Rod Rosenstein
  Rod Rosenstein Farewell Ceremony  CSPAN  May 10, 2019 9:26pm-10:57pm EDT

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being questioned more strongly. the stubbornness ignorance does not [indiscernible] until later. the department of justice held a farewell ceremony for rod rosenstein. attorney general william barr, as well as his predecessor were among those who attended the ceremony. this is 90 minutes. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please the official party to the stage.
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>> ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous
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fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? on the shore, dimly seen through
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♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. let us express our appreciation for the metropolitan police
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department honor guard and the vocalist. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon and welcome. i am the director of the office of u.s. attorneys and i am honored to be with you here today as we gather for this special ceremony to celebrate the 37th deputy attorney general of the u.s., rod rosenstein. before we begin today's program, please join the in welcoming our 85th attorney general william , barr. our guest of honor, rod rosenstein, jeff sessions, beth williams, director of the fbi,
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chris wray, robert hurr and deputy attorney general ed o'callaghan. [applause] >> also joining us in the audience, i would like to welcome kellyanne conway, azar,der is our -- senator richard burr, senator tom cotton and congresswoman susan brooks, as well as deputy secretary of state john sullivan. thank you for being here today. thank you for coming. [applause] >> while there are many special guests with us today, none are more important than the family of deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. join me and giving a warm
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welcome to the wife of the attorney general, daughter julia and allison and parents. welcome. the entire department greatly appreciates the enormous support that you have provided to our deputy attorney general, as he dedicated himself to seeking justice, keeping our country safe and ensuring that the law is enforced equally and fairly for all. one of the great privileges as my career has been to serve under deputy attorney general rosenstein for the past 13 years.
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from the time he hired me in maryland, i have appreciated his perseverance, professionalism and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. as deputy attorney general, he brought these qualities to washington where they have served him and us incredibly well for the last two years. the department will miss him, but he leaves behind a legacy of lawyers who know what true public service looks like because of his leadership. our first speaker this afternoon is one of those lawyers who has been fortunate enough to serve under both attorney wasn't signed and deputy attorney general rosenstein. robert heard is the district attorney for the state of maryland. prior to his confirmation as u.s. attorney, he served as the principal associate deputy attorney general. at this time it is my great
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, pleasure to editors robert. [applause] >> thank you very much. good afternoon. i have given a lot of thought to what i would say on such a bittersweet occasion in front of such a distinguished audience. my first thought was, i should grow a beard worthy of a payday. [laughter] >> i to want to set viable internet memes, talking about how impressive my facial hair is. many friends and family members have asked me, do you know that guy with the beard? yes, i know him. yes, he is a good guy. yes, his beard really is awesome. i had not thought about how he looks like ulysses s. grant, but i will think about it.
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i set my mind to growing my own beard and the results for themselves. i realized this is serious business. these are serious people doing serious work. i cannot waste their time with levity, so i thought about sharing how working with him has changed me. several months into serving, a few people close to me, including my wife, said you are starting to sound like the deputy attorney general. that made sense. i was spending almost all my waking hours with the man. when my wife said to me, you are starting to sound like him, i said, excellent. [laughter] [applause]
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>> keep moving forward. just as jackson, rule of law. my wife shook her head and turned away. i maintained my deadpan expression. so i decided, it is ok to allow for a little t because much of my time -- little levity because much of my time was punctuated by laughter. we are blessed with some of the smartest and most dedicated lawyers in the country. because our work is so serious, thank goodness that we have such great senses of humor. when you are going through tough times, when you say you cannot make this stuff up, you can either laugh or cry. i remember a lot of laughter. i do not remember any crying. [laughter] [applause] >> to borrow a phrase from tom hanks, there is no crying. some of the laughter was mischievous.
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i had the privilege of accompanying him to a trip to china where he represented the department. the chinese did not know what to make of me. perhaps wondering if i could understand what they were saying without the aid of interpreters. i could not. i do not speak a lick of chinese. i had told him that my kids were taking mandarin lessons. during the exchange of pleasantries, he shared with our chinese counterparts, he is teaching his kids mandarin. [laughter] >> the chinese reacted visibly to this revelation. some looked delighted and others
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chagrined. they started to address me in chinese. this was awkward. i chose not to bluff my way out of the situation for fear of creating an international incident. i fumbled to explain that i was teaching other people to teach my kids chinese. good one, sir, you got me. one of the best things about a job like his is helping to pick the people that you leave behind. you see so many people who knew or befriended, supported, meant toward or lead. the department and u.s. attorneys offices, our staff is skilled and principled leaders devoted to the values that make america great. it is such a privilege to succeed you as united states attorney for the district of maryland. you advised me that the most important thing i can do is to hire good people. i followed that advice. one of my favorite things to do
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is to welcome new hires to the office on their first day and share with them my thoughts on the importance of safeguarding the reputation for integrity and administering the oath of office. i know that it is familiar to you as you administered it to many. you have sworn the oath many times yourself. swearing an oath is no small thing. it forces us to slow down and mark with solemnity a significant challenge we are about to take on. we do not swear to do easy things. they are about serious things that require real fortitude and commitment. entering the military service, testifying in court, beginning a marriage, becoming a police officer. it is fitting that we take note of the extraordinary challenges that law enforcement officers face routinely.
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doing jobs with high-stakes and significant discretion we maybe wrongd to do the hard instead of the easy right. often, there is no easy choice. there will be intense scrutiny, pressure from all sides and personal attacks, no matter what you do. simply give good advice, think carefully, make the call you believe is right and take the hits. you have fulfilled your oath. you have defended the constitution. you have borne to faith and allegiance and you have well and faithfully discharge the duties of your office. it is hard to imagine the justice department without rod rosenstein. we do have a vacancy in greendale right now. you showed how to fulfill your duties with grace, humor and dignity.
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he took the hits and you kept it classy. we will do our best to do the same. thank you. [applause] >> now it is my pleasure to introduce beth williams. >> good afternoon. it is an honor to be here with you today and to say a few words about our deputy attorney general. much has and will be said about his public role, but i would like to share thoughts about the rod rosenstein that i know. the mark of a good boss is knowing the names of his employees children. after i introduced my children to hand, he not only remembered
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their names, he remembered the names of stuffed animals that they were holding at the time. that story is probably not surprising to those who had the good fortune to work with him. at the department of justice, he demonstrated care for the people that he works and important missions that they are serving. he displayed true leadership while allowing the rest of us to focus on the important work of the department. i know that many people in this building will be forever grateful. anybody who has paid attention to his speeches or read the back of his afternoon program knows two things about him. he has a deep admiration for former attorney general robert jackson and he loves a good jackson quote and often quotes him in his speeches. we often undertake our own
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analysis. we decided to do that here and he has quoted robert jackson 5.2 times per hour during a typical workday. [laughter] >> i am told that is on par with his putting bait at home. there's a reason he quotes him so often. northstar, and understanding of the rule of law that guided him will stop rod rosenstein shares many qualities with robert jackson. and ouras a northstar grandchildren will be quoting words that he said. given this, i was happy to come
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across a jackson quote that has served as an american institution. robert jackson wrote, he left his mark on his times and he was worth knowing. he loved his profession and had a real sense of dedication to the administration of justice. courtesy and respect at the judicial office. the law to him letters -- was like a religion. iskily, that type of lawyer not completely vanished and he is here today. broad, it has been an honor to serve with you. i find it only appropriate to a rod rosenstein quote. the rule of law secures our
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freedom. it was secure -- it will secure our children's freedom and we can only achieve it if people set aside partisanship because it requires a fair and independent process. servicenk you for your and may god bless you in the next chapter of your career. [applause] mr>> thank you. today's guest of honor, before joining the department's leadership, jeff sessions served as the united states and the poor 12 years. most recently, he led the department of justice. back wonderful to have him
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home for this occasion. please welcome jeff sessions. mr. sessions: thank you. thank you all. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. jim, for your remarks and service to this department. your energy and leadership has .layed a powerful role we used to claim that the reagan class was the best. i'm honored to be back with all of you to share in a special moment in a department we love.
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today marks the departure of one of the most important leaders in his history. he came here almost 29 years ago for as held the position little over two years. before that, held a number of key positions including the united states attorney of maryland for 12 years. 3% ofe told me that only united states attorneys only served 12 years and that he and i were two of them. i don't know how he calculated already, as you know he is good with numbers. wharton school of business perhaps has something to do with that. some of the prosecutors know he is good.
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heard of rod before and remembered how he was nominated by president bush, but was blocked by certain senators. another thing we had in common. their complaint was he was too valuable as a united states attorney that they could not lose him. that was not the kind of thing they said about me. [laughter] >> as i consider my stories -- my choice for deputy attorney general, i do i have been away for some 25 years and needed a proven prosecutor, a crimefighter. some of the understood all the aspects of the department, who knew this department, a strong manager and a man of the law who believe in the law and a man of integrity.
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view on so many of these matters, on good law enforcement policy that if you do the right thing effectively, you could make our communities safer. he knew that homicides and violent crimes have jumped in the previous two years. he was committed to adopting policies that would reverse those trends. we discussed it -- how to identify that we were moving forward and he understood the importance of state and local law enforcement and that it was essential for our federal team to work with them. our people are state and local. we have assembled a truly great group. we discussed the importance of enhancing discipline within the department. and avoiding rules
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the politicalization of leaks and other things that seem too often to occur. theiscussed the adhering of rule of law. it was a top matter in our discussions as we discussed what we might do together at this department. the office of the attorney general from afar in alabama and assisting the united states attorney, almost with a sense of all -- awe. for 20 years, i had another ability to see the office from a different perspective. when we came in, i had no doubt that there would be a lot of controversy. the office of the attorney general frequently finds himself at the vortex of law and
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politics and separation of powers, but in truth, i have to say our run exceeded my expectations. -- therefused -- recused so-called collusion investigation became his and it was no little matter. .here was a continual uproar a decision had to be made in those decisions felt to him. he had become the attorney general for this matter. he made every decision based on his best judgment for what he thought was best for this country. he stayed the course during some of the most difficult times. .he investigation was ongoing
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when he arrived, he did not , overit and once started the years and my observation, these things become unstoppable. having worked for 10 star, he understood the nature of the special counsel, it's regulations and concluded that justice would be best served by pointing a special counsel and he chose the respective bob inller all in the accordance the department of justice. these procedures have been set up for just such times as this. reportller was given a in time completed to do his work pursuant to the attorney general. attorney general barr review the report, made his judgment as was his duty. perfect justice according to california supreme court maclin fleming.
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perfect justice he said is not .chievable he says it causes us to lose what justice we can achieve, so at the end, our judgments are rendered by jury and other adjudicators. reviewable andre some are not. we are committed to a lawful process. we believe choose -- truth is best found if the correct process is followed properly. to deviate from established procedures that strikes at the heart of justice in america. as itou did your duty fell upon you. you did not ask for it, that is for sure. you initiated the process and follow the regulations.
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we could, you wonderful and supportive spouse and your family, i have gotten to know them. they are so wonderful. i have to say it might admiration for you has risen knowing them. i understand the girls are big fans. the topknow if it hit of the charts, but it was pretty good. many had many that said wonderful times, but things were often a bit not normal. , and a lotat dinner of things were going on. and evenazzi caught us the dinner became some sort of message.
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there was a time when i change my mind about testifying. the appropriations committee had me testify in the intelligence community. i decided i better go to richard so, whoast minute and was going to appear before? -- he got a few hours notice. on sure he did a great job. i know it has been tough for you and your family, but one thing i know for certain and that is rockfamily knows and loves and that has never wavered. what i know full well is that he fully understood the nature of your responsibility and the result is we can send to this
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nation back. we are confronting the great challenges of our age. we know that you have overseen this process which is affirmed the rule of law and achieve a degree of justice were the of this great department of justice. we thank you for your service, extend our thanks also for all the work they have done and there have been extraordinary achievements. crime has been reduced after going up. strong actions have targeted the opioid epidemic and they have begun to have positive effects. illegal use of firearms are being vigorously prosecuted. productivity and utilized the money of taxpayers in a most effective way.
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,hank you for your service thank you for being a friend and loyal partner in the efforts and vision and ideals. \[applause] >> thank you, general. our next speaker is also no stranger to the office of the deputy attorney general. christopher wray served as principal associate deputy attorney general, without a beard before becoming the , assistant attorney general for the criminal division in 2003. he has served as the director of the fbi since august of 2017.
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ladies and gentlemen, please welcome director chris wray. \[applause] director wray: well, there are a lot of great traditions at this department, but one of them is opportunities like this to all come together at one time and celebrate the leadership and service of a valued colleague like rod. i have the honor today of presenting a gift that carries a special meaning to all of us charged with enforcing the laws of the united states. we have a shadow box here that includes the badges worn by our law enforcement agents, inspectors, deputy u.s. marshalls and correctional officers. and these are folks whose sacrifice is unique. they risk their lives. sometimes tragically they lose
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them, to keep all of us safe. and the d.o.j. law enforcements represented in the shadowbox include atf, b.a.p., f.b.i., interpol washington, j.m.d.'s, security and emergency planning staff, o.i.g. and the deputy u.s. marshalls. rod has spent, as you heard almost 30 years working in this , department. i have known him for almost 20 of those. he has certainly seen his share of change, changes in the law, changes if in the way we do -- in the way we do business, changes in the threats we all face, but through it all he has maintained that same level of dedication and service to the american people we all serve. and i know i have been grateful for rod's counsel and support on probablyof occasions, never more so than when he has reaffirmed the importance of the long view, to look down the
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road, beyond the beltway or the latest news cycle and confronting both the challenges and the opportunities that face the department and the bureau. he is a friend whose service has weathered the test of time, and that is something we should all admire. as you have heard, rod is a huge fan of attorney general robert jackson. it is getting to the point where nobody can find a robert jackson quote that he hasn't used, as you heard, [laughter] but we managed to find one we think he has not used which is near and dear to us. attorney general jackson was speaking to the f.b.i. national academy in 1940 and in his , remarks general jackson commended them for their devotion to the honorable but often thankless task of law enforcement. so rod on behalf of the men and , women in law enforcement, we appreciate the chance to commend you and ensure this day is
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anything but thankless and on , behalf of the entire department of justice, we want to present you with this shadow box with gratitude for your service, friendship, patriotism and we wish you all the best in your next chapter. \[applause] >> thank you, chris. when today's guest of honor joined the department of justice through the honors program in 1990, our next speaker was serving then as deputy attorney general. shortly thereafter, general barr began his first tour of duty as attorney general of the united states. first serving in that role as the 77th attorney general of the united states from 1991-1993. general barr was confirmed as our 85th attorney general in
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february of this year, making him one of only two people in history and the first since the 19th century to hold this high public office twice. ladies and gentlemen, at this time, please welcome to the podium, the attorney general of the united states, william barr. \[applause] attorney general barr: thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. before i begin, there is a matter that i feel has to be resolved before rod leaves the building. rod, could you come up please and stand next to me? [laughter] take mynstein: position? [laughter] attorney general barr: there has
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been a debate raging for the last few months and i think we , have to get it resolved and decided tonight. and that is which one of us is , capable of the most deadpan expressions? [laughter] i know this is a little unfair because i do my best work in the hearing, in congressional hearings, rod does his standing behind the attorney general at a press conference. [laughter] so what do you say? is it rod or me? rod? \[applause] thank you all for being here and thanks to everyone who put this event together. you know, it is not traditional to hold a farewell ceremony for a deputy attorney general in the hall, but this is rod rosenstein. and given what rod has given to this department, years of service and his achievements, we
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all know it is the right thing to have rod's farewell ceremony here today. now this occasion honors rod not only for his tenure as deputy attorney general, but also for his nearly three-decade career at the department. and when rod arrived in 1990 as jim just said, there was this very svelte and dynamic deputy attorney general [laughter] who i'm sure serves as an inspiration. \[laughter] now in those days the deputy job was a lot different. but i will tell you now the , attorney general job was a lot different also. [laughter] you like records. this must be a record of attorney generals being proposed for contempt within 100 days of taking office. but rod's arrival at maine justice in 1990 was not the true start of his d.o.j. service. as a law student at harvard, rod
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interned at the u.s. attorney's office in the district of massachusetts and the acting attorney u.s. attorney in that office at the time was none other than bob mueller. and bob then went on to be assistant attorney general for the criminal division where rod was first assigned as an honors program lawyer. little did we know that we would be getting the old band back together again. \[laughter] i spent the intervening years outside the department, but rod hasn't and he has been serving , here as a line attorney, ausa, in theprincipal attorney tax division as a u.s. attorney , in the district of maryland among other positions. and i had the good fortune to interact with rod over the years
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a few times, and i recognized him as a suburb lawyer who was intern lawyer who was dedicated to the department. but i have been fortunate to return to the department and work with rod and his latest role as the deputy attorney general. on a personal level, it has been a real privilege and a pleasure to have him with me these last several months. it is a matter of public record that we spent a great deal of time together of late, but less well known though certainly known to all of you here assembled are rod's characteristics that he brings with him to the office every day. exceptional intelligence. sound judgment crafted from experience. composure under the most intense pressure and scrutiny, and above all, an upbeat spirit and keen sense of humor. and i leaned heavily on all of those qualities over the past few months, so thank you rod for
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your support and your friendship. now the attributes i just described have made rod an exceptional leader. and part of that leadership has been his ability to assemble and operate an outstanding team. in my opinion, jeff sessions and rod played a decisive role in putting together i think the strongest team of presidential appointees in the department that i can ever remember, and the department and the country will long benefit from the focus and energy that rod put into that process. and rod assembled and outstanding staff in the deputy's office. as we all know, the deputy's job is perhaps the most challenging management position in the government today. rod has excelled in that role , and he would be the first to tell you that a large part of his success has been the team of consummate professionals he recruited and forged into an effective and efficient staff in the office of the deputy attorney general.
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rod's legacy of leadership is also reflected in the record of accomplishment under his stewardship. under rod, the department has achieved record levels of productivity, it has advanced critical priorities, reducing violent crime, vigorously enforcing the nation's immigration laws and fighting hard against the scourge of illegal drugs, especially the opioid epidemic. he has faced criticism from all corners but has proven remarkably unflappable. and this in turn has shown that the department is unflappable in the face of public and political pressure. rod, you can leave here proud knowing that the department is better for you efforts and your leadership. you have left an indelible mark. so again, on behalf of myself and the department of justice, thank you for your service. we knowd you farewell, this is not really goodbye. you'll always be a friend to me and a friend to the department of justice.
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\[applause] thank you. so another tradition at the department when a deputy attorney general steps down is to present him with an american flag that has been flown over the main justice building. and so on behalf of your friends and colleagues at the department, it is my honor to present this flag to you. \[applause] >> i believe we have a special presentation, if we can dim the lights.
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general. [video presentation begins] ♪ >> i first met rod when he came for an interview, having applied for a clerkship in my chambers. my immediate impression was that i wanted this guy to clerk for
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me. he was extremely helpful as a clerk in terms of penetrating the issues in the cases, discussing them with me, doing first drafts of opinions, everything that a clerk could possibly be expected to do, he did extremely well. it was clear to me that he was going to have a brilliant career. >> first time i met rod was when i was back in the public integrity section in 1990. he showed up fresh from a clerkship there. he looked even younger than his age at that time. he made an impression on a lot of people just because he took he wasjob right away, very enthusiastic, clearly very smart, hard-working, he was ready for virtually anything we could throw at him. >> after serving at the public integrity section early on in his career, rod was given an incredible opportunity to serve with the independent counsel. >> i met him in little rock, arkansas, when we were
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recruiting rod to leave the justice department on detail and to become part of the incorporate couple's office in the whitewater investigation. >> what impressed me most about rod rosenstein was his complete professionalism, his soaring intelligence and the fact that , he embodied the policies and practices and culture over the department of justice. he was a fabulous trial lawyer. in hisassiduous preparation, but he was also great on his feet in the courtroom. >> one of my favorite recollections of rod rosenstein the trial lawyer, this particular occasion, rod has a terrible fever. he had the flu. and rod rosenstein just stepped sick as the proverbial dog. you would not have done it. -- you would not have known it. hour after hour, virtually all day at that long trial day, he was on his feet. he looked a bit flush.
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he may have been perspiring, but rod is so cool you never would have known it. you can depend on rod. he was rod the dependable. >> like most u.s. attorneys offices, maryland gets really great applications and the quality of people applying. rod had attached a transcript from a case that he had. was, one of the whitewater cases that went to trial, he had a standup role and he had the transcripts and detached that to his application. i met a lot of people over the years but have never seen transcripts from a high-profile trial is an indication of what they can do. rod and steve, who was a trial attorney in the civil-rights division, ended up coming to the office around the same time. >> we got hired and started the same day. rod and i worked in that office together for, it must have been
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six years. he has an amazing ability to remain focused, look at the big makes her, and that was a time that i had this claim to fame, somebody had the horrible judgment to make me rod rosenstein's supervisor. toit's an amazing place anybody who ever worked there, they will tell you, including rod. but it is interesting its bond not only rod, who became the u.s. attorney in maryland, but steve, who is in ohio, and he -- and we had a couple of other guys that became u.s. attorneys in illinois. ♪ rod recognized when he became u.s. attorney that the key problem in baltimore was violent crime. he was determined to do something about it. >> maryland has historically had a number of public corruption cases. certainly during rod's tenure, and there was a corruption case
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where we prosecuted state and local partners, a lot of sensitivity there but we also needed a lot of their help to get the case done. rod was very careful and very, very concerned and making sure we were partners with them, our state and locals involved in the operation, but also, we are going to have to answer to the fact that some of their officers had become involved in this particular corruption matter. >> the way he ran the office was very hands-on. he knew what was going on with the cases. >> he loved hearing about the trials. i think he really miss trial work. he did do 16-week trial as a second chair when he was u.s. attorney. him to belly hard for out of the office for six weeks, but he loved it. and it was a great case. >> to us in baltimore, we just know him as rod. we know him that way because he always put the community first, enforcement is a local
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thing, it really is not a national thing. it is local. we solve problems that we handle issues and we effective the community locally. and that was rod. >> enforcement is he did a greas part of the u.s. attorneys community. he did it a long time and saw lots of different administrations and people come and go out of that community. rod was always somebody who was a mainstay. he was somebody who knew what being a u.s. attorney was all about. ♪ rodhen you look at rosenstein's background, experience and accomplishments, how could you do any better than rod rosenstein is the deputy attorney general of the united states? i don't think you could. >> i met rod when he was nominee to be deputy attorney general. he came to the department of justice and was still u.s. attorney in maryland. i got the opportunity to sit down with him and tell him the good news and bad news, that he was stuck with me to shepherd him through the confirmation
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process. from that initial interaction, i remember being blown away, not only by his intellect. there are a lot of smart people in the department, but his passion, knowledge, his confidence. i remember thinking, my gosh, this individual really is the full package. one of the things that made rod rosenstein an attractive candidate, nominee, for something like me to work with, was his broad base of support. his confirmation process ended spectacularly. he had a great confirmation hearing and was confirmed with 94 votes, which in this era is unheard of, to have 94 people in the u.s. senate support you. ♪ it is a tradition for hiring officials for the department of justice. during the course of their tenure in the department, to argue before the supreme court of the united states. rod was interested in this because he started as an appellate lawyer throughout his career and was effective before the high court. >> he gave the supreme court
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arguments. amidst every thing else going against the best of what the solicitor general's office has, and they were thinking, this guy has it. >> rod had served 25 years in the justice department out of variety of levels. he was well suited to address the number of issues that had been percolating throughout the department for a number of years. >> one project he undertook, which i don't think anyone thought was possible, was re-doing the u.s. attorney manual. he went through section by section, taking out anything that was no longer applicable or redundant or was superseded, and created what is called the justice manual. we actually now have a true operating manual for the department of justice. >> one project he undertook was a review and revision of the corporate fraud enforcement policies at the department. these get a lot of scrutiny with the white-collar enforcement bar particularly, so he is spending time looking at this.
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his focus was, how do we make things streamlined and more efficient? inse policies have to work the real world, attorneys have to apply these policies in real life. he spent a lot of time looking at that making them user-friendly for department attorney sent to give more certainty for folks on the enforcement end of the community. >> one of the proudest accomplishments i know of is his ability to recruit such quality people to come to the department of justice and all of the u.s. attorneys offices. he has been impressed by the way they carried out what he hoped to have been the department's agenda, and i know he is very proud of that. ♪ >> the investiture ceremony for me as u.s. attorney in baltimore, what of the things i said was, working with the
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deputy attorney general and director ray was working with a couple of superheroes. they were out early committed to keeping us all safe, and doing the right thing. live in the times we right now, rod was the right man for the job of deputy attorney general. he had the background to assume that office, having worked his way up from line prosecutor in the department all the way to u.s. attorney, spending time at maine justice as well as the u.s. attorney's office. >> his tenure at the department of justice is what the department of justice and u.s. attorneys offices are all about, trying to do the right thing every day. it is just an honor to call myself a friend. rod would be surprised if took a breather and tried to pay
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the college tuitions he is paying right now. having a similar celebration, but it is rod's swearing into the supreme court in 2030. >> i can see rod working again for me probably. >> he will be sending various staffers a series of emails at 2:00 in the morning, making sure clients are being well served, assuming he is in private practice. >> i hope he is taking a bunch of vacations and getting some time with his family. >> he would be a great college or university president. a placee i see him in where he is taking it down a notch and relaxing, getting to take some vacation time that he did not take over the last three decades, and spending some time with lisa and the kids. could see himy coaching the orioles. he played on our softball team every year. we were in baltimore, so he already has a head start.
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he already played for the o o'so now -- played for the so now we can coach the o's. >> one of the favorite things of my sister and i was going on these unplanned road trips with my dad where he would have a general destination in mind but nothing firm. and my dad would just drive until he got tired and then we would pull into a mcdonald's or a cracker barrel or one of our favorite restaurants. he would quickly find a hotel reservation and it definitely got us to places where we wouldn't necessarily have been before. and we definitely enjoyed the adventurous part of that, not necessarily knowing exactly where we were going and not definitely having a plan that definitely changed once the marshals came in, because they definitely really like to have a plan. one of the things i love about my dad is that he always makes time for me and our sister -- me
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and my sister and our mom. >> one of the things i really like about my dad is he is always there for me no matter what i have going on, what kind of assignments, i need some question answered and he will always call me, text me, face me, whatever, and try to get that question answered. before my soccer tryouts i used to watch his motivational video. it had a rocky balboa quote. you get hit,t hard it is about how hard you can take getting hit and move forward. >> i had a lot of things going on and he had a lot of things going on, so for his birthday i got it inscribed on a plaque, and he has it up on his office. it became twitter famous when he talked about it in one of his speeches. i was really proud about that. >> i could definitely see him being a professor, maybe not at my college right now but if i decide to go to law school i
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think it would be really cool if he was a professor at whatever law school i decide to go to. rock,> he may be in little arkansas. every time he talks about at his face lights up. >> i hope he takes a few breaks every once in a while on the weekends and just drives down to the beach. ♪ >> i think it is definitely bittersweet. i'm looking forward to the next chapter and seeing what happens. but i definitely think that him being in this position has taught me a lot, how to stand up for what you believe in and how despitee right thing whatever other people might say. >> one of my favorite things to do on a friday or saturday night is to watch a movie with my dad.
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parentsds, when their are home, they don't want to go do something. and there has been so many times my friends asked me if i want to go out and i say, i am going to watch a movie with my dad. just because i think we actually end up spending more time together because we have less time to spend together. and i think that has been a great thing. it has also been an experience that has brought our family together, my mom, my sister and i especially, just because it is something we all share and that we can talk about. and it brings us closer, and it it is something that is a unique experience to us that we will have for the rest of our lives. ♪ one of my dad's favorite songs is "humble and kind." it resonates with him. i see him as someone who is humble and kind. he will sometimes play it in his office when he is doing work and it makes me smile because that is how i see him.
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and i really just hope that is however when elsa sees him too. ♪
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[video presentation ends] [applause] finally, it is time to hear from today's guest of honor. much could be and has been said about the deputy attorney years of30
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distinguished service to the department of justice. all closely acquainted with his many accomplishments. the deputy attorney general has often reminded us our system of government does not self-executing. it relies on wisdom and self-restraint. throughout his career with the department, rod rosenstein has tempered zeal with kindness, he has sought the truth, he has served the law, he is approached each -- he has approached each task with humility. he has served as a guardian of the rule of law and preserved it in his time for many future generations. i have no doubt that justice jackson would approve. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome deputy attorney general rob rosenstein. -- rod rosenstein. [applause] [applause] mr. rosenstein: thank you.
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thank you very much. thank you. [applause] thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. states.ent the indicted byse are the words spoken department of justice attorneys at the start of every federal trial. each of us represents the united states, the entire united states. more important, we represent every one of the citizens, all ideologies, all affiliations, all races, all religions. we represent supporters and
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critics, victims and criminals. our oath of office begins to promise to support and defend the constitution. establish a to legal duty that overrides loyalty to anyone else and in the final clause of that oath, we swear to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office. we can only fulfill that charge if we understand those duties. i served under five presidents and nine senate-confirmed tend if youneral, count bill barr twice. we are not sure about that. [laughter] i spent most of my career outside washington but worked at headquarters three times, in the early 1990's as a trial attorney, in the early to thousands as a supervisor and for the past two years at my speakt job i frequently about the inspiration i draw from three aspects of this may justice building, the art it
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contains, the people it employs and the principles that it represents. buildingor of this contains reminders of heroes, mentors and friends. politicalt me considerations may influence policy decisions, but when it comes to individual cases, this department stands apart from politics attorney general -- politics. attorney general jeff sessions told us to follow regular order and ensure the nonpartisan administration of justice, and that is what we did every day. that is what the department will continue to do under attorney general bill barr. what is it that secures liberty in america? it is not just the words of law, it is about the character of people. when you exit this great hall youwalk into the courtyard, will read a latin inscription that means, that when you accept a privilege you incur an obligation. privilege ofrn the
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joining this department accept the obligation to serve the law and faithfully follow our policies and procedures. former judge richard pozen are put it this way. the department of justice wields enormous power over people's lives, much of it the aunt judicial or political review. with power comes responsibility, moral if not legal, or it's prudent unrestrained exercise, and responsibility, implied knowledge, experience and sound judgment, not just good faith. our justice department employees undergo rigorous screening interviews and periodic background checks. with few exceptions they demonstrate great intellect, integrity, patriotism, wisdom, courage and resilience. an organization with 115,000 employees, our virtuous culture and this upland procedures promote objectivity and
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fairness. comply withred to laws, regulations and ethical rules. we maintain experienced, professional, internal watchdogs to investigate credible misconduct allegations and we face external scrutiny by judges and bar authorities. we correct mistakes and punish wrongdoers. for us the rule of law is not just a talking point. it is an operating principle. the rule of law requires us to ignore partisan politics, to tune out the news cycle, and base our decisions on credible evidence. many people have the luxury of dismissing fact that are inconsistent with their we-existing beliefs, but face the exacting scrutiny of the federal court rome -- federal court room. that imposes a powerful discipline. eyewitnesses,duce satisfy rules of evidence, meet
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our burden of proof to the satisfaction of a neutral judge undead nonbiased jury. do you know how difficult it is to persuade 12 random citizens of anything? we need unanimous support to win our cases. rigorous rulesse because our allegations carry severe consequences. those rules motivate us to seek only the truth. pursuing the truth requires us to keep an open mind and avoid confirmation bias. the truth may not match our preconceptions, it may not satisfy our hopes, but truth is essential to justice. the most important memento in my office is a plaque that reads, don't tell me what i want to hear, just tell me what i need to know. i enjoy the support of an exceptional team, which attorney sessionsbar and described. we stayed the course and accomplish what we set out to
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do. there are many in this room who stood with me to defend the ramparts of justice. when we are in the right, we keep moving forward. but that confidence is not naive. it flows from an appreciation of the history and traditions of this great institution. one of the most important lessons for litigators is to begin with the end in mind, decide what evidence you need for your closing argument and stay focused on it, whatever the ups and downs of the trial. trial lawyers understand the most dramatic moments may have very little impact on the final verdict. we learned to ignore the fleeting distractions and focus on things that matter. consider what happens when you use a smartphone to plan a trip. many things can go wrong during the trip, traffic may be unexpectedly heavy, accidents could obstruct your path, you might make a wrong turn, but
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whenever unexpected challenges occur, the program calmly recalculates and keeps you on a path to your destination. i am grateful to the friends and relatives who have joined me on this journey. made manysa sacrifices in support of my public service, particularly over the past two years. ,y daughters julia and allison my daughters cheerfully tolerated the disruptions that arise when a parent is in the arena. in fact, congressional hearings are now julie's favorite form of entertainment. [laughter] i kid you not. that is house, not senate. [laughter] reminding me i was mistaken when i told her deputy ag was a low-profile job. [laughter] and jerry robert
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never wavered in their confidence. lisa's mother is another steadfast supporter. she arrived today with my sister-in-law and her children, veronica and patrick. there are friends here from elementary school, high school, college, law school, judges and defense attorneys who shared some of my most memorable trial experiences, colleagues and supervisors, administrative employees who kept the work flowing, law enforcement agents who spent nights and weekends with me interviewing witnesses, prosecutors who joined me in the trenches. these are the men and women of federal law enforcement. they are some of america's best, brightest, most patriotic citizens. they deserve our admiration and respect. thank you. [applause]
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i have to admit, some agents i worked with are retired. i appreciate those who came back for the ceremony. at my confirmation hearing i pledged to defend the independence of the justice department, protect public safety, preserve civil rights and to seek justice. i promised toat draw on my personal experience with law enforcement officers and to promote and fight for those confident -- for those goals every day. government officials sometimes face pressure to compromise principles, perhaps even to trade virtue for the appearance of virtue. but we said -- but we should uncertainaution when circumstances face us. it is important to follow the rules. sticking with traditions is usually the best course, not always, but usually. after all, that is why they became traditions.
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thomas jefferson repeatedly gave this advice. on matters of style, swim with the current. on matters of principle, stand like a rock. the challenge is to distinguish principal and style, between the things that matter most and the things that matter least. our justice department team focused on important goals. we used results-driven management to improve the department's efficiency and to enhance the impact of our $28 billion budget. we made rapid process on the law enforcement priorities jeff reducing violent crime, ending opioid abuse, improving confidence in police while improving national security and strengthening federal efforts in other areas. this department does not just about law enforcement. we represent the government and civil lawsuits, we counsel other agencies, we house print esters, prisoners, ournace t
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influence on america broad and it is deep. and that influence gives us a unique platform to foster civility. speaking from this stage on april 1 of 1940, attorney general robert jackson, who else? [laughter] attorney general robert jackson said, sensitivity to fairplay and sportsmanship is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor to temper zeal with kindness, who seeks truth and who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches the task with humility. we follow that mandate every day. if kindness and humility are in short supply outside the walls of justice, that is all the more reason for us to set a good example.
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i joined the department of justice because i believe in the mission. i stayed because i believe in the people. pursue justice with ceaseless devotion, often at personal sacrifice and sometimes at physical risk. it is a privilege to work with such honorable, principled, trustworthy public servants. honorable, principled, trustworthy public servants. some of my role models were famous political appointees, but many were career public servants david, who was david, who was r his reverence and his love of this department. david gave me advice about integrity a quarter-century ago that stayed with me to this day. i want to thank his wife debbie and his daughters kim and sherry for being with us here today. and in my final moments on this grand stage, i want to leave colleagues who remained behind with these words from another former attorney general, edward leavy.
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as law enforcement officials you hold a unique and difficult position of enormous responsibility to our society. many citizens learn what kind of country this is by watching you, and the things they learn, leavy said, include what kindness and decency we honor as people. to carryu do your part that justice, kindness and decency and pass it safely to the next generation. and when you walk the halls of justice, i hope they echo for you with the voices of heroes, mentors and friends, as they do for me. to those who taught me, those who worked beside me and those who stood behind me, i am grateful for your friendship and i am thankful for your compass met. -- thankful for your accomplishments. i leave here confident that justice is in good hands. it is in your hands. thank you and farewell.
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[applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> thank you. we have one more presentation for the dag. i serve as principal deputy attorney general. i have been in that role for a year or so. after hearing all the accomplishments of the dag over
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his storied career, you might wonder what people do to support the dag and his many accomplishments. i know i have one thing that the dag doesn't have, and that is the beard. [laughter] you might think, what is the beard have to do with supporting the dag? i thought it would show you a few examples of how this beard has supported the dag. wentfall in the dag through some rocky times, the beard was here to give him support and comfort. [laughter] in a very difficult time. calledequently, the dag upon my beard to provide gravitas at certain moments, for example when he announced the indictment of several russians and the 2016 interference with the election. the beard has also been used most recently to focus media
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attention on important issues such as, who is the bearded guy behind the ag, the same day some report was issued? [laughter] [applause] so over the course of this incredible journey with you, my beard has become a feature. it is good to be known for something. this has been such a profound and gratifying journey for me to be with you on it, i struggled to seal the esteemed presenters here today to figure out what i could bestow on you to commemorate our time together. we have all heard the phrase, he would give you the shirt off his back, and i would certainly do that, but i don't think that would be appropriate. and i don't think you need a shirt. [laughter] but i do believe that, to
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immemorate our time together will bestow on you this. [laughter] [applause] this beard. [laughter] that concludes the program for today. i would like to thank the rosenstein family for sharing rod with the department of the united states for almost of the past 30 years. they cue offer coming here today and helping us celebrate rod rosenstein. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> as the house wrapped up
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debate on the $19.1 billion disaster relief bill, ranking member representative kay aanger of texas added provision to request an additional $3 billion to the bill to help children at the border. committee chair rosa delauro of connecticut responded. this is 10 minutes. my motion amends the bill by adding an additional 2.8 billion dollars the administration has said is needed to care for unaccompanied children that continued to flood our southern border. i am offering this motion because the bill we are considering does not address the need. the funding in this motion is one piece of what is needed to respond parent become the responsibility of our federal government. as