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Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Delivers Opening Remarks to the House Judiciary Committee


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as prepared for delivery


Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, and members of the Committee, I welcome the opportunity to testify as part of your oversight of the United States Department of Justice.


As Deputy Attorney General, my job is to help the Attorney General manage our Department’s components, including seven Main Justice litigating divisions; 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Marshals Service; the Office of Justice Programs; the Federal Bureau of Prisons; the Office of the Inspector General; and many others.


Our Department includes over 115,000 employees and tens of thousands of contractors stationed in every state and territory, and in many foreign nations.


We prevent terrorism and violent crime, illegal drug distribution, fraud, corruption, child abuse, civil rights violations, and countless other threats to the American people. We enforce tax laws, antitrust laws, and environmental laws. We represent the United States in the Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals, and the District Courts, and in state and territorial courts. We protect federal judges, manage federal prisons, review parole applications, oversee the bankruptcy system, assist tribal governments, and adjudicate immigration cases. We provide legal advice to the President and to every federal agency. We implement grant programs, and support state and local law enforcement agencies. We combat waste, fraud, and other misconduct involving employees and contractors. We resolve foreign claims and represent our government in international law enforcement forums. We collect, analyze, and disseminate law enforcement data. And we perform countless other important functions.


Department of Justice employees are united by a shared understanding that our mission is to pursue justice, protect public safety, preserve government property, defend civil rights, and promote the rule of law.


The mission attracted me to law enforcement, but the people who carry out the mission are what I treasure most about my job. With very few exceptions, they are honorable, principled and trustworthy.


America’s federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are more professional today than ever. Rigorous scrutiny by internal affairs offices and external oversight agencies has resulted in increased accountability and higher standards.


When wrongdoing occurs, we are more likely to discover it, and we remedy it. That is critical to building and maintaining public confidence.


Over the past eight months, I have spoken with thousands of Department employees across the country. I remind them that Justice is not only our name, it is our mission.


Justice requires a fair and impartial process. That is why we have a special responsibility to follow ethical and professional standards.


In 1941, Attorney General Robert Jackson said that “the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, … seeks truth and not victims, serves the law and not factional purposes, and … approaches [the] task with humility.”


Under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and an experienced team appointed by President Trump, the Department of Justice is working tirelessly to protect American citizens and uphold the rule of law.


Today, I look forward to discussing some of our Department’s important work.


Following the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual and the example set by past Department of Justice officials, we always seek to accommodate congressional oversight requests while protecting the integrity of investigations, preserving the Department’s independence, and safeguarding sensitive information.


I look forward to your questions.

Updated December 13, 2017