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Justice Department official defends leadership after Trump attacks


    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, left, speaks as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Annette L. Hayes looks on at a news conference giving an update on the unsolved 2001 slaying of a federal prosecutor, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Seattle.

WASHINGTON >> The Justice Department’s No. 2 official on Friday defended the institution’s leadership as it is embroiled in politically charged criticism over the Russia probe.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe, told an American Bar Association gathering that history will show that the Justice Department has acted with integrity on his watch.

President Donald Trump slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week for his handling of Republican complaints related to the probe. It was the latest Trump attack on Sessions. Some congressional Republicans also have been relentlessly accusing the Justice Department and FBI of partisan bias.

Rosenstein says Trump-appointed Justice Department leaders are “very strong on ethics and professionalism.” He says he and Sessions are committed not to repeat former officials’ mistakes.

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