Rosenstein Ready to Leave Once Attorney General Confirmed, Source Says

Rosenstein Ready to Leave Once Attorney General Confirmed, Source Says

Rosenstein Ready to Leave Once Attorney General Confirmed, Source Says

Rosenstein, who was nominated to the post in February 2017 and had apparently thought of serving for about two years, and wants to ensure a smooth transition, several sources familiar with his plans told ABC News on Wednesday.

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 also reportedly once discussed secretly monitoring the president without his knowledge, but a source familiar with the situation said that Rosenstein was being sarcastic when he made the purported remarks.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Politico on Wednesday that Trump should withdraw Barr's nomination because of a memo that Barr sent to senior Justice Department officials in June 2018 questioning Mueller's investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing James Comey as FBI director. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him", Sanders said. It is common for attorneys general and other Cabinet secretaries to have their own deputies. Barr would take over control should he be confirmed by the Senate, assuming the same final say over major investigative steps that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has had since November.

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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. He has long overseen the investigation and has frequently drawn Trump's ire.

Lindsey Graham he would allow special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to continue unabated, Graham said Wednesday.

If Barr's chances for confirmation appear strong, Democrats nonetheless are expected to question him sharply about the skepticism he has voiced about the Russian Federation investigation. Barr, Graham said, told him he didn't think Mueller was on a "witch hunt", as Trump has branded the Mueller probe. Also, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department past year critiquing Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice by firing James Comey as FBI director. "Whether it's Bob Mueller or Rod Rosenstein or Matt Whitaker or Bill Barr, that investigation's going to be handled appropriately by the Department of Justice". But Democrats will use the hearing as an opportunity to extract commitments from the nominee about his approach to the Mueller investigation.

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