On May 1, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke at the Newseum about the rule of law. A reporter asked about House Republicans who were drafting articles of impeachment against him for not turning over documents that they had sought.
I saw that draft. I mean, I don`t know who wrote it. It really does illustrate, though, a really important principle of the rule of law and the distinction between the way we operate in the department. And we make mistakes. That`s not to say we`re flawless.
But the way we operate in the Department of Justice, if we accuse somebody of wrongdoing, we have to have evidence, credible witnesses, we have to be prepared to prove our case in court. And we have to affix our signature to the charging document. That`s something that not everybody appreciates. And so, that`s the way we operate.
You know, we have people who are accountable. And so, I just don`t have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and that they leak in that way.
But I can tell you that there are people who have been making threats, privately and publicly, against me for quite some time. And I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted. We`re going to do what`s required by the rule of law and any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job.
We have a responsibility. We take an oath. That`s the whole point when you take these jobs. You need to be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and that actually is a pretty thorough process.
And then you raise your right hand and you swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. You promise to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, so help me God. And that`s your responsibility.
Everybody in the department takes that oath. We have 115,000 employees. And if they violate it, they know they`re going to be held accountable. And I know those folks know that I`m not going to violate my oath.