Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will resign from the Justice Department in the coming weeks, according to several reports published Wednesday.Rosenstein has informed President Donald Trump of his intention to leave once William Barr — the president’s nominee for AG — is confirmed, ABC News reported.The deputy AG is not being forced out and wants to facilitate a smooth transition for Barr, who still faces a Senate confirmation hearing, a source told ABC.
CNN later confirmed Rosenstein's plan to quit.Under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein oversaw special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.Rosenstein has repeatedly been attacked by Trump for his oversight of the Mueller investigation, as it expanded beyond election interference to include the president's personal and business dealings.READ: Acting AG Matt Whitaker’s resume said he was an All-American athlete. He wasn’t.Trump even retweeted an image of Rosenstein and others behind bars.
Rosenstein launched the Mueller probe in May 2017 after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey. Sessions had previously recused himself from DOJ investigations into the 2016 election, having worked on the Trump campaign himself.
Speculation about Rosenstein’s future increased after Sessions was fired in November, but he has remained in place while Matt Whitaker, Sessions’ former No. 2, served as acting attorney general.Despite previous criticism of the Mueller probe, Whitaker assumed its oversight once he became acting AG.Axios reported in September that the Justice Department was preparing for Rosenstein’s departure and had already drafted a press release.
Cover image: U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a press conference announcing efforts against computer hacking and extortion at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on November 28, 2018. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)