Jeffrey Rosen, President Trump’s nominee to take over the Justice Department’s No. 2 position, won Senate approval Thursday.
In a 52 to 45 vote along party lines, Mr. Rosen was confirmed as deputy attorney general, the second highest position at the Justice Department. He will replace Rod Rosenstein, who left the Department last week.
Mr. Rosen, who leaves his position as deputy secretary of Transportation, has not worked at the Justice Department nor as a federal prosecutor. That lack of experience was a point of contention during his confirmation last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Several Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut challenged his inexperience as a prosecutor. Mr. Rosen responded by saying that he would not be the first person without a law enforcement background to serve as the attorney general and pledged to surround himself with veteran prosecutors.
Mr. Rosen joins the Justice Department during a turbulent time. He will likely become embroiled in the department’s battles with Congress to obtain information on the unredacted work of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Although the Justice Department released a lightly redacted version of Mr. Mueller’s 448-page report, Democrats have insisted that is not good enough and demanded his complete findings.
Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee took the first step toward holding Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt after he defied a congressional subpoena to turn over all of Mr. Mueller’s findings along with the supporting evidence.
Additional fallout from the Mueller probe includes several ongoing investigations handled by the Justice Department. Mr. Rosen said during his confirmation hearing that he wouldn’t interfere in those cases.
“If I’m confirmed, I would expect in all criminal investigations and prosecutorial matters that they proceed on the facts and the law,” he said.
Mr. Rosen’s confirmation reunites him with Mr. Barr. The pair worked alongside each other at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Mr. Barr is said to have personally selected his former colleague for the position.
Mr. Rosen has served in a host of government positions during a legal career spanning three decades. He was general counsel for the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Transportation in the Bush administration.