Rosenstein plans to leave Justice Dept. shortly after Barr confirmed

Erika Holt
January 10, 2019

The ongoing management of the special counsel's office, however, has remained with the man who commissioned it: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department has said.

He said it took about "three seconds" for him to get the answer he was looking for concerning what Barr thinks of Mueller.

In June 2017, Barr sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arguing that a potential obstruction of justice inquiry into the president is "fatally misconceived".

"I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years".

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".

The revelation, which was also confirmed by CNN, comes after weeks of speculation over whether the deputy attorney general would resign from his role within the Justice Department after the termination of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Rosenstein has been frequently criticized by Trump, who calls the Russian Federation investigation a "witch hunt" and denies any collusion with Moscow. Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr was Bush's attorney general between 1991 and 1993 and Mueller oversaw the department's criminal division.

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

The expected departure of Rosenstein, who had previously enjoyed bipartisan support and was kept in his role as Maryland's top federal prosecutor during the Obama administration, has heightened Democratic concerns ahead of the Barr hearing.

She says he wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general.

After an embattled turn in that role, Sessions stepped down at the end of previous year and was replaced temporarily by Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. The appointment followed the recusal of Sessions because of his work on the Trump campaign and Trump's firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Rosenstein has been frequently criticised by Trump, who calls the Russian Federation investigation a "witch-hunt" and denies any collusion with Moscow.

Rosenstein also reportedly once discussed secretly monitoring the president without his knowledge, but a source familiar with the situation said that Rosenstein was being sarcastic when he made the purported remarks. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, when Barr's nomination was announced. Barr's opinion of Mueller is "very high", Graham said.

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