Jeffrey A. Rosen

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Jeffrey A. Rosen
Jeff Rosen official DOJ portrait.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
In office
December 24, 2020[1] – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
DeputyRichard Donoghue (acting)
Preceded byWilliam Barr
Succeeded byMonty Wilkinson (acting)
38th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 22, 2019 – December 23, 2020
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byRod Rosenstein
Succeeded byLisa Monaco
21st United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation
In office
May 18, 2017 – May 21, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byVictor Mendez
Succeeded byPolly Trottenberg
General Counsel of the United States Department of Transportation
In office
October 2003 – June 2006
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byKirk Van Tine
Succeeded byDavid Gribbin
Personal details
Jeffrey Adam Rosen

(1958-04-02) April 2, 1958 (age 63)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kathleen Nichols
EducationNorthwestern University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Jeffrey Adam Rosen (born April 2, 1958) is an American lawyer who served as the acting United States attorney general from December 2020 to January 2021 and as the United States deputy attorney general from 2019 to 2020.[2] Before joining the Department of Justice, he was a senior partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis and was the United States deputy secretary of transportation.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rosen was born to a Jewish family in Boston and grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts.[citation needed] He graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1979 after serving as president of the student council his third and final year of college. He then graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, receiving his Juris Doctor in 1982.[3]


Rosen joined Kirkland & Ellis in 1982. He left the firm in 2003 and began working for the U.S. government.[4]

In 2006, Rosen moved to the Office of Management and Budget, where he was general counsel and senior policy advisor until 2009. While at the OMB, he criticized "regulatory overreach" and opposed EPA plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.[5] He also served as a representative of the U.S. government on the board of directors of Amtrak.[2]

Rosen returned to Kirkland & Ellis in 2009.[4] From 2015 to 2016, Rosen chaired the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.[6]

General Counsel[edit]

From 2003 to 2006, Rosen was general counsel at the United States Department of Transportation and acted as counsel for then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.[7][8][9][5]

Deputy Secretary of Transportation[edit]

On May 16, 2017, Rosen was confirmed as United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation by a 56–42 vote.[10] There, he served under Secretary Elaine Chao.[5]

During his tenure, he chaired DOT’s New and Emerging Technologies Council (NETT) formed by Elaine Chao. [11], was a member of FAA’s Management Advisory Council. [12] Rosen also helped to lead DOTs efforts to safely enable the use of drones in the airspace, including in FAA’s drone pilot program. [13] He also had DOT issue updated guidelines on automated or “self-driving” cars and trucks. [14]

Deputy Attorney General[edit]

On February 19, 2019, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Rosen for the position of United States Deputy Attorney General, succeeding Rod Rosenstein upon his departure from the Department of Justice. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 16 by a vote of 52–45.[15] His nomination to become the second-highest law enforcement official was unusual, as Rosen had no previous prosecutorial experience.[5] Attorney General William Barr had urged Trump to choose Rosen as his deputy.[16] Rosen was sworn in on May 22, 2019.[17]

The Wall Street Journal described Rosen as having "kept a relatively low profile both within the department and in public."[18]

In June 2019, Rosen sent a letter to New York state prosecutors inquiring into the case of Paul Manafort and indicating that he would be monitoring where Manafort would be held in custody. Shortly thereafter, federal prison officials informed New York state prosecutors that Manafort would not be held in Rikers Island. Current and former prosecutors described this decision as unusual, because most individuals held in custody while awaiting federal trial are held in Rikers Island, a prison with a reputation for violence and mismanagement.[19]

In late 2019, Rosen stalled a probe of former Department of Interior head Ryan Zinke. Federal prosecutors proposed to move forward with possible criminal charges against Zinke over his involvement in blocking two Native American tribes from operating a casino near a MGM Resorts International gambling facility.[20][21] In doing so, Rosen also prevented the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General from making a report about the casino deal public.[20]

On July 30, 2020, Rosen wrote a letter to the president of the Puerto Rico Elections Commission denying the commission's petition to the U.S. Justice Department to recommend the disbursement of $2.5 million—earmarked under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 for an educational campaign regarding the political future of the Island—to be used in connection with the plebiscite on the political status of Puerto Rico slated to be held in November 2020. Rosen gave as reasons for denying the request that there was insufficient time for the government to complete the request and that the Puerto Rico legislative bill that gave way to the holding of the plebiscite contains statements that the Justice Department did not concur with; namely, that it is not clear that the People of Puerto Rico have rejected the territorial status. The bill authorizing the 2020 plebiscite was drafted to elicit a simple “yes” or “no” answer from the voters to the question: “Do you favor Puerto Rico being immediately admitted to the Union? Yes or No.”[22]

Acting Attorney General[edit]

On December 14, 2020, it was announced that Rosen would become acting Attorney General on December 24, the day after William Barr's resignation took effect.[23][24][25] According to a January 21, 2021 report in The New York Times, even before Barr had left, Rosen was summoned to the Oval Office and pressured by President Donald Trump to aid him in his attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election. Trump asked him to file Justice Department legal briefs supporting lawsuits against the election results, and to appoint special prosecutors to investigate unfounded allegations of voter fraud and accusations against Dominion Voting Systems. Rosen declined, saying that the department had already investigated and had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. However, Trump continued to press him and acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue.[26] In January, Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, reportedly met with Trump and suggested that he replace Rosen with Clark himself, who would then promote Trump’s allegations of election fraud. Trump decided against removing Rosen only after learning that all the other Justice Department senior officials would resign if he did.[27]


  1. ^ "Meet the Acting Attorney General". United States Department of Justice. December 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Jeffrey A. Rosen, former general counsel at DOT, chosen by Trump for deputy secretary of agency". The Trucker. March 8, 2017. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Meet the Deputy Attorney General". United States Department of Justice. November 16, 2020. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Rosen, P.C., Jeffrey A." Kirkland & Ellis. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Who is Jeffrey Rosen? Three things to know about President Trump's deputy attorney general pick". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Ambrogi, Robert (July 25, 2016). "This Week In Legal Tech: Showdown At The ABA Over Free Law And Free Sex". Above the Law. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "PN1011 - Nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen for Department of Transportation, 108th Congress (2003-2004)". December 9, 2003. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "PN147 - Nomination of David James Gribbin IV for Department of Transportation, 110th Congress (2007-2008)". June 20, 2007. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "PN102 - Nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen to be Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". March 29, 2017. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Senate confirmation vote PN102". May 16, 2017. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Senate confirmation vote PN526". May 16, 2019. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "U.S. Senate confirms Jeffrey Rosen as No. 2 Justice Department..." Reuters. May 17, 2019. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Axelrod, Tal (May 22, 2019). "Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general". The Hill. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Viswanatha, Aruna (December 14, 2020). "Who Is Jeffrey Rosen, Who Will Succeed Attorney General William Barr?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  19. ^ Rashbaum, William K.; Benner, Katie (June 17, 2019). "Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers. Then the Justice Department Intervened". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Senior Justice Dept. official stalled probe against former interior secretary Ryan Zinke, sources say". The Washington Post. 2020.
  21. ^ Benner, Katie (November 11, 2020). "Barr's Decision on Voter Fraud Inflames Existing Tensions With Anticorruption Prosecutors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  22. ^ Oliveira, Alexandra (August 1, 2020). "Statehood for Puerto Rico and the obstruction of justice". TheHill. Archived from the original on August 2, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  23. ^ Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (December 14, 2020). "... Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "William Barr To Step Down As Attorney General Before Christmas". Archived from the original on December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  25. ^ Ballhaus, Rebecca; Tau, Byron (December 24, 2020). "Jeffrey Rosen Takes Reins of a Justice Department Under Pressure". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  26. ^ Benner, Katie (January 22, 2021). "Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General". The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  27. ^ Zapotosky, Matt; Barrett, Devlin; Leonnig, Carol D. "Trump entertained plan to install an attorney general who would help him pursue baseless election fraud claims". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 23, 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Victor Mendez
United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation
Succeeded by
Steven G. Bradbury
Legal offices
Preceded by
Rod Rosenstein
United States Deputy Attorney General
Succeeded by
Richard Donoghue
Preceded by
William Barr
United States Attorney General

Succeeded by
John Demers