Rosenstein plans to leave Justice Dept. shortly after Barr confirmed

Cheryl Sanders
January 9, 2019

Citing anonymous sources, ABC claims that Rosenstein will leave his position as the nation's number two law enforcement officer around the time William Barr, President Trump's nominee for Attorney General, takes office following a Senate confirmation.

Rosenstein will ensure a smooth transition to Barr, and there is no suggestion that he is being forced out by the president, ABC said.

Barr's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to begin January 15, and The Washington Post reported that Rosenstein does not have a definitive timeline for departure. Rosenstein is a key figure in the investigation into possible collusion and conspiracy between Russian Federation intelligence officials and the Trump campaign led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Rosenstein had always planned to stay around two years.

After an embattled turn in that role, Sessions stepped down at the end of a year ago and was replaced temporarily by Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.

Once confirmed, Barr would assume oversight of the probe.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delivers remarks during The Annual Conference for Compliance and Risk Professionals at the Mayflower Hotel May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him". However, Rosenstein has continued to be the main Justice Department official to interact with Mueller and receive updates on the investigation.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who Trump named in November, now has ultimate authority over Mueller and the investigation.

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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