Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning to leave his position at the Department of Justice upon the confirmation of the new prospective AG William Barr, who is scheduled to participate in hearings next week.
ABC News broke the story that Rosenstein is planning his exit and has notified Donald Trump about his intention, according to sources familiar with the deputy AG’s plans.
“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.”
There is no indication at this time that Rosenstein was forced out, and the man with his finger on the pulse of the Mueller investigation has allegedly been transparent in his intention to leave the Trump Attorney General’s office after serving two years.
After AG Jeff Sessions was fired by Trump, many people assumed that Rosenstein would follow suit, but he stayed on despite the president’s appointment of an interim AG, Matt Whitaker.
Rod Rosenstein was left to oversee the Mueller investigation after Sessions recused himself, angering Trump who had just fired FBI head James Comey.
In response to Rosenstein’s plans, the media is abuzz wondering if this means the Mueller investigation is wrapping up.
JUST IN: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will reportedly leave the Department of Justice "in the coming weeks," according to ABC News; Rosenstein, who oversees #Mueller probe, has informed Pres. #Trump and White House of his decision #LiveDesk pic.twitter.com/UNogqQRNtw— Dan Snyder (@DanSnyderFOX25) January 9, 2019
It’s been a concern since 2017 that Rod Rosenstein was on his way out of the door as Trump repeatedly taunted the deputy AG on Twitter and in comments to the press, per the Inquisitr. Most recently Trump posted a meme on Twitter of Rosenstein behind bars, seemingly jailed.
Before the Mueller investigation launched, Rosenstein was seen as a safe bet with support from both sides of the aisle, but a lot changed when AG Session recused himself, putting the matter squarely in the lap of Rosenstein.
Rod Rosenstein was initially appointed by President George W. Bush and was asked to stay on through the Obama administration based on thorough bipartisan support.
Even Philip Heymann, the Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, stated that he would trust Rod Rosenstein in any situation.
“If there was a case where I was worried there was a perception we were being unfair, I would trust him [Rosenstein] to do the right thing and to do the job.”
When Donald Trump fired former FBI head James Comey after just a few months in office, he put the blame for the decision on Rosenstein, saying that he was acting on the deputy AG’s recommendation.