Rod Rosenstein To Leave After Next Attorney General's Confirmation

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and William Barr

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave his role once President Trump's nominee for attorney general is confirmed by the Senate, ABC News reported. He said Barr would be an "excellent attorney general when he is confirmed".

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has no concrete plans to depart and will stay on to help with the transition, said the person who asked not to be named.

Rosenstein, who had written a memo supporting the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey based on the premise that Comey had treated Hillary Clinton unfairly during the 2016 campaign, had more recently clashed with Trump after reports he made comments about overthrowing Trump or secretly recording him shortly before Mueller's appointment.

Incoming Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Wednesday the committee plans to probe allegations of government surveillance abuse amid ongoing concerns over Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department efforts to surveil Trump campaign advisers during the 2016 race.

If Barr is confirmed, he would likely assume oversight of the Russian Federation investigation, which he has previously expressed criticisms of.

Barr's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing takes place next week.

Democrats in the House want to question him about how he's been dealing with the White House and Mueller's office.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Wednesday that she couldn't confirm reports of Rod Rosenstein's departure because she hadn't spoken to him yet, but said no one was trying to oust the deputy attorney general. "My guess is he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him".

But he has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump's criticism. The Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election has been going on for nearly two years.

Barr submitted a memo to the Justice Department past year that argued the law doesn't support an inquiry into whether Trump may have obstructed justice if he tried to frustrate the Russian Federation investigation.

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

"The Senate 'should subject Mr. Barr's views to the strictest of scrutiny next week and I still believe, after the revelations about Mr. Barr's unsolicited memo, President Trump ought to withdraw this nomination", Schumer said. 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.

It is not clear who Trump will nominate to fill Rosenstein's position.

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