Rosenstein Has A Timeline For Leaving The Trump Administration

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Evan Vucci Associated Press/2018 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Rosenstein's departure has always been the subject of speculation.

Graham said Barr told him that he has a high opinion of Rod Rosenstein, the current deputy attorney general who has so far overseen the Mueller investigation and is expected to leave office if Barr is confirmed.

William Barr was scheduled to meet with at least three key Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans ahead of his confirmation hearing scheduled for next week.

Trump has frequently railed against the deputy attorney general on Twitter, with the president recently retweeting an image depicting Rosenstein and others behind bars. Rosenstein, a former United States attorney in Maryland, will have served as deputy for roughly two years by the time he leaves.

Rosenstein, who spent his career at the Department of Justice before Trump nominated him as DOJ's No. 2 official, had come under fire from the president after he named Robert Mueller in May 2017 as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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If Mr Barr is confirmed, he is likely to take over the role of overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

If confirmed, Mr Barr will succeed acting attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who replaced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he was sacked by Mr Trump. 11 House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment against Rosenstein last July based on this alleged misconduct, a move that ultimately went nowhere.

Sources at the Justice Department say that although Rosenstein is expected to depart once Barr is in place, there isn't a specific plan or schedule in place that establishes dates or structure for that. Despite the rumors, Rosenstein held onto his job.

Graham listed a number of questions that he had put to Barr: 'I asked Mr. Barr directly, 'Do you think Mr. Mueller is on a witch hunt?' He said no.

Sanders said there's no willingness by the White House to force out Rosenstein, who she said has "a great deal of respect" for Barr, adding that they have a "great relationship".

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According to Fox News and ABC News, Mr Rosenstein had long planned to leave after two years as deputy attorney general.

"I'm going to do a deep dive into the FISA issue, I think he'll be part of it", Graham said of Barr.

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.

At a news conference in December, Rosenstein said that Mueller's investigation would be "handled appropriately" no matter who is overseeing it. Barr is expected to face questioning from Democrats about his views of the Mueller investigation at next week's hearing.

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