“I don’t know if it’s comfort, but I think at some point he made a decision that he would stay within the ethical bounds that he’s in, but he wouldn’t be a punching bag,” said James M. Trusty, a former Justice Department official who is friends with Rosenstein. “You see a little steel in the spine every now and then, where he’s just decided, ‘I’m going to keep doing it my way.’ ”…

Some of the Justice Department’s decisions on producing documents about an ongoing case has left legal analysts worried that dangerous precedents are being set. In addition, Georgetown Law professor Paul Butler said he was particularly troubled when, after the president demanded on Twitter that the department investigate whether the FBI had infiltrated his campaign for political purposes, Rosenstein asked the inspector general to look into the matter.

Rosenstein has opined publicly that the Justice Department cannot essentially open its files to Congress. Discussing the document spat during an event at the Newseum in May, Rosenstein said of those threatening to impeach him, “I think they should understand by now that the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted.”