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Chuck Rosenberg Resigning as Acting DEA Chief

Chuck Rosenberg Resigning as Acting DEA Chief

Former FBI Director James Comey, left, and Chuck Rosenberg. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 September 2017 06:55 AM

Chuck Rosenberg is resigning as acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief after splitting with the White House on several issues, including marijuana and gangs, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Citing law enforcement officials, The New York Times reported that Rosenberg was leaving because he had become convinced that President Donald Trump had little respect for the law.

Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney, is an Obama administration holdover and at one time was a senior counselor to fired FBI director James B. Comey, the Post noted. He had led the DEA on an interim basis since 2015.

In a reported email to his staff, Rosenberg said he planned to leave the agency on Saturday and that he was proud of this service to the DEA, the newspaper reported.

"The neighborhoods in which we live are better for your commitment to the rule of law, dedication to the cause of justice, and perseverance in the face of adversity," Rosenberg said, per the Post. "You will continue to do great things. I will continue to root for you, now from the sidelines."

Rosenberg had charged that Trump "condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement" by comments the president made to authorities in July, USA Today reported.

"And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon – you just see them thrown in, rough – I said, please don't be too nice," Trump said on July 28 in Ronkonkoma, New York. "Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody – don't hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?"

Rosenberg forcefully rejected Trump’s comment, the Times reported, and sent an email to all DEA employees at the time to tell them that they should not mistreat suspects.

“We must earn and keep the public trust and continue to hold ourselves to the very highest standards,” Rosenberg said in the internal email, per the Times. “Ours is an honorable profession and, so, we will always act honorably.”

Rosenberg also had reportedly split with the Justice Department, which has blocked numerous requests to grow marijuana for research, the Post said, and Rosenberg and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also bumped heads over the Central American gang MS-13.

Sessions has made the gang a major law enforcement priority while DEA officials suggested that Mexican drug cartels posed a much greater threat to the U.S., the Post said.

In July, Rosenberg told the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, that he did not want to be considered as the permanent administrator of the DEA or for any other job in the Justice Department, the Times said.

Sources told the Post that New Jersey State Police head Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, a critic of the Obama administration, was believed to be a top candidate for Rosenberg's position.

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Chuck Rosenberg is resigning as acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief after splitting with the White House on several issues, including marijuana and gangs.
chuck rosenberg, resign, acting, dea, chief
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 06:55 AM
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