AP NEWS

DOJ honors law enforcement at Attorney General Awards

October 24, 2018 GMT

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recognized and honored Justice Department employees for their service in a ceremony Wednesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray were expected to attend but did not because of the suspected bombs mailed to former President Barack Obama, former President Bill and Hillary Clinton and CNN, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the attorney general and FBI director, Mr. Rosenstein said, “We condemn the actions of the person or persons who sent the devices in the strongest most possible way.”

“We will not be intimidated by any threats,” Mr. Rosenstein continued.

More than 200 policemen, federal agents, prosecutors and other Justice Department officials were feted at the 66th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Wednesday at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall in Washington, D.C.

“The rule of law in America depends on the character of the people who enforce the law,” Mr. Rosenstein said at the event.

Mr. Rosenstein was scheduled to appear before the two congressional committees Wednesday to answer questions about whether he discussed taping the president and removing him from office via the 25th Amendment.

The appearance was cancelled Tuesday after some Republican lawmakers objected that only the committee chairmen and ranking Democrats could ask questions. It is not known when it will be rescheduled.

Several of the most coveted Justice Department honors were presented Wednesday. The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism went to Basilio Perez Jr.

Mr. Perez, a U.S. marshal, helped guide to safety attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. He was off duty at the concert, but he calmly accompanied potential victims to safety and used his U.S. Navy medical training to provide lifesaving assistance to gunshot victims.

Among the teams honored Wednesday were the Justice Department Antitrust Division that successfully blocked health insurer Anthem’s proposed $54 million acquisition of rival Cigna Corp; the team that investigated eight dirty Baltimore cops, which resulted in six guilty pleas and two convictions; and the group that helped take down AlphaBay, a dark web marketplace that sold guns and drugs.

The honorees came from Justice Department offices around the country.

“I am grateful for your service, and I am honored to work with you in the cause of Justice,” Mr. Rosenstein told the audience.