Scott Schools, the Department of Justice’s top career attorney and an influential adviser to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is stepping down this week.
One DOJ veteran said Schools likely had “considerable influence” over critical decisions Rosenstein made, like appointing the special counsel Robert Mueller, weighing whether or not to recuse himself from the Russia probe, and green lighting an FBI raid on the properties of Michael Cohen.
Schools is one of the few top DOJ officials who is regularly briefed on the Russia investigation.
Bradley Weinsheimer, a 27-year veteran of the DOJ, will temporarily replace Schools.
Sign up for the latest Russia investigation updates here»
Scott Schools, the Department of Justice’s senior-most career attorney and a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, will step down to take a job in the private sector, the department announced this week.
As associate deputy attorney general, Schools is Rosenstein’s main adviser. Before Rosenstein, Schools was an aide to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Schools is also one of the few top DOJ officials who is regularly briefed on the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Schools’ departure comes after Rachel Brand, formerly the third-in-command at the department, stepped down earlier this year. It also comes as President Donald Trump accuses Rosenstein and other top DOJ officials of corruption, and the Russia probe of being a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him and his associates.
Rosenstein has lately been on the receiving end of heightened criticism from GOP lawmakers.
Last week, he and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee in a controversial and highly contentious hearing about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and Russia probe.
Among other things, several Republican congressmen accused Rosenstein and other senior officials of running afoul of proper protocol when overseeing the two investigations. They also accused the FBI of surveillance abuses related to former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
DOJ veterans say that as Rosenstein’s top deputy, Schools is well positioned to help the deputy attorney general make critical decisions, like appointing Mueller, weighing whether or not to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel, green lighting an FBI raid on the properties of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, and more.
Schools is “the most important unknown person in DC,” Gregory Harris, a defense lawyer who worked alongside Schools at the US Attorney’s Office …read more
Source:: Business Insider