Rod Rosenstein Resigns, Deputy Attorney General Who Appointed Robert Mueller To Depart In May

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation letter to the White House on Monday with his departure effective May 11, according to AP News. Rosenstein, who is responsible for appointing special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, ended his two-year run in the role saying, “we keep the faith, we follow the rules, and we always put America first” and advised the Trump administration to “avoid partisanship.”

According to CNBC, the deputy A.G. called on the Justice Department to ignore news and opinion polls in order to fairly enforce the law.

“We enforce the law without fear or favor because credible evidence is not partisan, and truth is not determined by opinion polls,” Rosenstein wrote.

“We ignore fleeting distractions and focus our attention on the things that matter, because a republic that endures is not governed by the news cycle.”

Rosenstein also alluded to the Robert Mueller report.

“Our nation is safer, our elections are more secure, and our citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts and schemes to commit fraud, steal intellectual property, and launch cyberattacks,” he wrote.

Rosenstein is most famous for appointing Mueller in May 2017 after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation. After William Barr was confirmed as attorney general, many expected Rosenstein to step down, but the deputy stuck around to see the publication of the Mueller report. In March, rumors swirled that the deputy attorney general would be leaving shortly, but he continued to stick around and support the investigation’s release.

The longer he stuck around, the more he seemed to draw Donald Trump’s attacks. Trump accused him of “treasonous” behavior, particularly after reports emerged that Rosenstein considered invoking the 25th amendment to remove the president according to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Rosenstein allegedly offered to wear a recording device in order to tape Trump and his associates.

These discussions took place around the time that Rosenstein appointed Mueller after James Comey was fired, enabling the investigation into Russian interference and obstruction of justice to continue. In recent days, he not only oversaw Mueller’s investigations, but he helped protect it from President Trump and some Republicans who sought to criticize the investigation. Trump has often referred to the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

The deputy attorney general is responsible for overseeing the Justice Department and attorneys across the U.S. Prior to being appointed by Trump, Rosenstein served as a U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.