Rod Rosenstein To Leave After Next Attorney General's Confirmation

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and William Barr

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

Rosenstein has been overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election, accusations that Moscow has repeatedly denied. Rosenstein, the person said, was not being forced out and had always thought he would be in the high-octane position of deputy attorney general for about two years.

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.

Top justice department official Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in 2016, is planning to quit, United States media reports.

Fox News, citing unnamed Justice Department officials, also reported the planned departure in weeks.

Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.

CNN reported Barr's Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

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Rosenstein told President Trump and White House officials that if William Barr is confirmed, he'll leave soon after, according to multiple sources familiar with his plans.

After ousting Sessions, Trump installed Whitaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as acting attorney general, which put him in charge of the Russian Federation probe.

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.

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

Graham also said that Mueller will be "fair" to President Donald Trump and believes that Barr has no reason to stop Mueller's investigation. 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. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, when Barr's nomination was announced.

All along, Mueller's investigation has continued, but it isn't clear to anyone outside a handful of select leaders how much longer it may run or with what effect - and consequently, what kind of effect the transition from Rosenstein to Barr might have.

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