Reports have come out today that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Department of Justice (DOJ) after confirmation of the new attorney general. From ABC News:

Rosenstein has communicated to President Donald Trump and White House officials his plan to depart the administration around the time William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, would take office following a Senate confirmation.

Sources told ABC News Rosenstein wants to ensure a smooth transition to his successor and would accommodate the needs of Barr, should he be confirmed.

Rosenstein apparently had long been thinking he would serve about two years, and there was no indication that he was being forced out at this moment by the president.

Sources told Fox News that “Rosenstein long thought of his role as a two-year position and the two-year mark is coming soon.”

Back in October, speculation grew that President Donald Trump would fire Rosenstein after The New York Times reported that he offered to tape Trump and discuss invoking the 25th amendment with Cabinet members.

Trump immediately shot down that idea.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions left in November the speculation returned, but Rosenstein stuck around after Matt Whitaker became acting attorney general.

Rosenstein has overseen Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump and Russia during the 2016 campaign. From The Washington Examiner:

Rosenstein appointed and has overseen special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation since May 2017. Rosenstein’s office still manages the probe’s day-to-day operations, but Whitaker oversees it.

Barr, if confirmed, will oversee the inquiry in its entirety.

Rosenstein was only able to appoint Mueller after Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation. It is not expected that Barr would recuse himself as attorney general from oversight, though he will get grilled on his views of a special counsel.


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