Rod Rosenstein Resignation Plan Puts New Pressure On William Barr Confirmation

10 January, 2019, 00:57 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • AP source Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Department of Justice in weeks

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Trump administration in the coming weeks, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump isn't trying to push out Rosenstein, adding that he is probably "making room" for Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr.

Officials told ABC and Fox that Rosenstein had planned to serve as deputy for two years - a milestone that was approaching.

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

Rosenstein was the person who oversaw the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller for more than a year.

Russian officials have said the allegations were invented to excuse the election loss of a presidential candidate, as well as deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption. Barr could be installed at the Justice Department as early as February.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer painted a different picture in remarks on the Senate floor, citing a memo Barr wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a year ago.

Barr's nomination is likely to meet heavy scrutiny regarding the ongoing investigation, particularly from Democrats, following reports he had written a memo in June questioning the probe.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters that Barr talked to him about his relationship with Mueller, including the fact that their wives are in a Bible study group together and Mueller has attended two of Barr's daughters' weddings.

Barr told the SC senator that he would follow Department of Justice (DOJ) procedure while "erring on the side of transparency" about sharing Mueller's final report with Congress and the public.

If confirmed, Barr would replace appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and would assume oversight of the Mueller investigation.

"I asked Mr. Barr directly do you think Bob, Mr. Mueller's on a witch hunt?" The Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election has been going on for nearly two years.

After Trump fired then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017, legal experts suggested Mueller was pursuing an obstruction of justice case against the president.

Mr Rosenstein has overseen special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, a role which has repeatedly drawn the ire of Donald Trump, who has labelled the probe a "witch hunt".

"I'm going to do a deep dive into the FISA issue, I think he'll be part of it", Graham said of Barr. He said no. And do you see any reason for Mr. Mueller's investigation to be stopped.

At a news conference in December, Rosenstein said that Mueller's investigation would be "handled appropriately" no matter who is overseeing it.

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