Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to resign soon

Hugh Fox
January 10, 2019

William Barr, President Trump's nominee to be the next attorney general, told Republican Sen.

Barr, whose confirmation hearing begins on January 15, has come under fire from Senate Democrats who claim that his past comments criticizing the Mueller probe are disqualifying.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who had backed legislation to protect the Mueller probe, said Rosenstein's presence at DOJ "has been reassuring to many of us who are concerned about the independence of the special counsel's investigation".

Top justice department official Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in 2016, is planning to quit, United States media reports.

After ousting Sessions, Trump installed Whitaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as acting attorney general, which put him in charge of the Russian Federation probe. Also, Rosenstein told senators during his 2017 confirmation hearing that he would not remain in his post if he believed that he was being pressured to influence any investigations.

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The source said Rosenstein is not being forced out, and he has conveyed his thinking to the White House.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Rosenstein had always planned to stay around two years. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him", Sanders said. It is common for new attorneys general to select their own deputies and Barr has told people close to him that he wanted his own No. 2.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his position soon after William Barr is confirmed as attorney general.

Rosenstein has had oversight of the U.S. Special Counsel's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to Trump's campaign.

"I can assure you he has a very high opinion of Mr Mueller and he is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his job", Graham said.

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His former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, also pleaded guilty to a range of crime, including paying a pair of women alleging affairs with the President to keep quiet while Trump was running for office.

However, Graham said after meeting with Barr Wednesday that he was not concerned that Barr would interfere with the Mueller investigation. "Whether it's Bob Mueller or Rod Rosenstein or Matt Whitaker or Bill Barr, that investigation's going to be handled appropriately by the Department of Justice".

Trump also retweeted an image that was edited to show Rosenstein, Mueller, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and others behind prison bars in November.

"As attorney general, his job will be to receive Mr. Mueller's report and determine what to do with it", Graham said.

He has accused the investigation of being led by "Democrat loyalists".

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