Senate confirms No. 2 at Justice; will lead Russian Federation probe

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Rod Rosenstein was overwhelmingly confirmed to be the next deputy attorney general, after a Senate vote that was 94-6 Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerGOP fundraiser enters crowded primary for Pa. Senate seat Dems: Trump risks government shutdown over border wall Miners' union shouldn't look to feds to bail out mismanaged pension fund MORE (D-N.Y.) said that Rosenstein told him during a private meeting that "he would appoint a special counsel to conduct that investigation if one is required".

His March confirmation hearing took on new importance after his new boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, bowed to pressure and recused himself from any investigations related to the campaign, including those on Russian interference.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of CT, who opposed Rosenstein's confirmation, said Tuesday he was unsatisfied with his answers on appointing an independent investigator to look into Russian Federation.

Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, voiced support for Rosenstein's nomination.

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Blumenthal said Flynn's "potential criminal liability" and other allegations involving those with ties to President Donald Trump "can be done reliably and partially and credibly only by a special prosecutor".

The investigation, though, continued to dog Rosenstein's path to the upper ranks of the Justice Department.

Rosenstein served as Maryland's attorney general for almost 12 years.

Rosenstein will now have to decide if he wants to appoint an independent prosecutor in the Russian meddling case with last year's election.

The deputy attorney general is responsible for day-to-day operations and oversight of the Justice Department's law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Rosenstein has said he will make that determination once fully briefed on the status of the investigations. Hundreds of political appointments in the Trump administration remain unfilled.

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