Local NewsBattenfeld: Rachel Rollins crosses into political minefield — again

Battenfeld: Rachel Rollins crosses into political minefield — again

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U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins crossed into a political minefield when she attended a big ticket Democratic fundraiser in Andover, giving her boss Joe Biden another headache to worry about.

Rollins has always been a lightning rod ready to attract negative attention, and going to the DNC fundraiser will further make her a target for her critics.

At the very least Rollins, the former Suffolk District Attorney, was crossing the boundary between politics and her very powerful public office. And that’s a risky place to be for any prosecutor.

It’s the last thing Jill Biden needs in her swing to Massachusetts. She’s here to bolster goodwill for her beleaguered husband, who is mired in record low approval ratings. She doesn’t need ethical questions being raised about one of President Biden’s appointees.

The question is, should Rollins even attend a political event like a high-roller fundraiser? She has a right to her political views and obviously she’s a Democrat — she was appointed by a Democratic president and cleared by Democratic lawmakers. So there’s no mystery as to why she got an invite to the fundraiser.

But Rollins needs to understand that being U.S. Attorney puts her into a different realm of scrutiny.

Rollins was potentially compromised once she walked into the door of the event. If she’s hobnobbing at any political event, there’s a danger she could be compromised.

Who knows but someday Rollins may have to investigate a donor or business executive who attended the fundraiser, and she needs to keep her distance.

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Did Rollins get her picture taken with donors? Did she speak to the donors in her role as U.S. Attorney?

If she did, she has some tough questions to answer.

“Given all the political divisions in the country, it would have been better advised to have not shown up,” constitutional and civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate said. “It demonstrated questionable judgment.”

Rollins has been targeted by Republicans since she was appointed by Biden last year. Such appointments usually sail right through the Senate, but GOP senators hammered the former Suffolk district attorney for her progressive policies and do-not-prosecute list.

She ended up being narrowly confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Rollins has kept a fairly low profile since taking office — staying out of controversy. Until now.

BOSTON, MA - July 14: The road is closed at a private home for a Democratic National Committee finance event hosted by First Lady Jill Biden at 22 Carter Lane in Andover, MA. on July 14, 2022 in , BOSTON, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)BOSTON, MA – July 14: The road is closed at a private home for a Democratic National Committee finance event hosted by First Lady Jill Biden at 22 Carter Lane in Andover, MA. on July 14, 2022 in , BOSTON, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

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