Rosenstein expected to step down after new attorney general's confirmation

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department official who has played a central role in overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, is planning to step down once the next attorney general has been confirmed.

Rosenstein’s impending departure raises significant questions about the future of Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin. Rosenstein took on oversight of the Mueller probe in its infancy after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself over concerns that he had misled Congress during his confirmation hearings about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

Two sources familiar with Rosenstein’s plans indicated Wednesday that his upcoming departure was not spurred by any singular event.

“The history of DAG appointments is very clear: almost nobody stays more than two years and nobody stays on for a new AG, other than a brief transition," said James Trusty, a former colleague of Rosenstein's at the Justice Department who is now a partner at Ifrah Law. "While Rod has had tremendous longevity in law enforcement, I don’t think he ever expected more than about two years from this position. I think it is fairly clear this is not a 'force out' and that he will be well received in the private sector when he decided to make that jump.”

It's not clear when the next attorney general will be confirmed, paving the way for Rosenstein's official exit. President Donald Trump in December nominated William Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, to return to the Justice Department's top spot. He is facing confirmation hearings next week, but Congress has been roiled by a partial government shutdown over Trump's border wall demands.

 Read more at Politico

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