Trump Target Rosenstein Makes Rare Argument Before Supreme Court

(Bloomberg) -- For one afternoon at least, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went from being President Donald Trump’s Twitter target to being the administration’s Supreme Court mouthpiece.

Following in the footsteps of previous top Justice Department officials, Rosenstein represented the administration Monday in an argument over a sentence imposed on a convicted drug trafficker.

As Supreme Court cases go, it was rather low-stakes, centering on Adaucto Chavez-Meza’s bid for a sentence six months lower than the 9 1/2 years imposed by a federal judge. Rosenstein urged the justices not to require the judge to give a more detailed explanation for the sentence.

If nothing else, the session gave Rosenstein an hour-long respite from Trump’s barbs. The Washington Post says Trump has referred to Rosenstein, who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election-meddling, as "Mr. Peepers," a 1950s sitcom character, though the president has denied that.

At the court, it was all civility. Rosenstein donned the traditional morning coat worn by Justice Department lawyers when they argue cases. And Chief Justice John Roberts recognized him with a more genteel moniker, referring to him as "General Rosenstein."

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