Rod Rosenstein Expected To Leave Role

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, plans to leave the Justice Department shortly after a new attorney general is sworn into office, according to sources. At the earliest, Barr's confirmation vote would take place in mid-February.

If confirmed, Barr would then oversee the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday Rosenstein had always planned to stay around two years and wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general.

In October, speculation mounted that Trump would fire Rosenstein, after a salacious New York Times op-ed by a supposed Trump cabinet "insider" claimed that Rosenstein had suggested wearing a wire to secretly record the president to prove he was unfit for office.

Graham also said that Barr explained to him that he wrote his memo criticizing the Mueller investigation because he was concerned about the precedent of obstruction of justice as well as the firing of political appointees.

The White House is casting the expected departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in coming weeks as Rosenstein's choice alone.

Despite clear tensions between the acting attorney general and the president, an unnamed source familiar with the situation told CNN that Rosenstein is not being forced out of the White House.

Some Democrats expressed concern with Rosenstein's departure. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him".

Rosenstein, who oversaw the Russian Federation probe because of the recusal of Jeff Sessions, has had several close calls during his tenure, which began on April 25, 2017 after his Senate confirmation.

Graham said Barr told him about his longtime relationship with Mueller.

However Mr Rosenstein was stripped of the role late previous year when Mr Sessions was forced out by the president.

In this photo from December 15, 2017, US President Donald Trump (L) sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Quantico, Virginia, before participating in the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony.

"I can assure you, based on what I heard, he has a high opinion of Mr. Mueller, believes that Mr. Mueller is doing a professional job - will do a professional job and will be fair to the President and the country as a whole and has no reason for Mr. Mueller to stop doing is job and is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish", Graham said. Barr said he would go through the process of determining whether the Mueller report could be shared with Congress and the public when the report is finished, according to Graham.

  • Jon Douglas