It was laughs and jokes among current and former Department of Justice officials at the official sendoff of former assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday.
Hundreds gathered, including current Attorney General William Barr and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, some of whom joked about the nicknames that President Donald Trump likes to give public figures, and Barr, who joked about being held in contempt of Congress, according to The DailyMail.
The joke began when the attorney general attempted to settle, once and for all, whether himself or Rosenstein had the best “deadpan expression.”
“There’s been a debate raging the last few months and I think we have to get it resolved and decided tonight,” he said, asking Rosenstein to stand next to him. “Which one of us is capable of the best deadpan expression?”
“Now, I think this is a little unfair because I do my best work in Congressional hearings. Rod does his standing behind the attorney general at press conferences,” Barr quipped. The crowd gave the win to the outgoing Rosenstein, however, Barr still walked away with what he considered to be a possible victory.
“You like records,” Barr said to Rosenstein. “This must be a record, of an attorney general being proposed for contempt within 100 days of taking office.”
Both Rosenstein and Barr along with Barr’s predecessor, Sessions, have had an abnormally tumultuous time while serving in the Department of Justice, including current calls for Barr’s resignation.
Sessions pointed out the abnormality of their trial by fire experience in Washington:
“So when we came in, I had no doubt there would be a lot of controversies during my tenure,” Sessions said.
“The office of attorney general just frequently finds itself in the vortex of law and politics and separation of powers. But in truth, I have to say, our run exceeded my expectations,” Sessions said, soliciting laughter.