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Wall Street Journal: White House building case to fire Rosenstein

The White House is building a case to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal that said allies are being told to attack Rosenstein on television.

The idea is to launch attacks on Rosenstein, the Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation into Russian election meddling, in a way that avoids making it appear that Trump is meddling in the probe.

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One person who spoke to the president this week told The Wall Street Journal that Rosenstein’s ouster is “a matter of when, not if.”

Trump met with Rosenstein on Thursday in the White House. It was described as a routine business meeting.

GOP lawmakers are pressing Trump to not fire Rosenstein or Mueller, arguing it would create a political crisis months before a midterm election already looking dangerous for Republicans. 

The Wall Street Journal also reported that officials within the White House, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have argued against firing Rosenstein.

Allies of Trump in recent days have gone on an offensive against Rosenstein since the FBI on Monday raided the offices, residence and hotel room of the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The raid, which Rosenstein reportedly approved, deeply angered Trump given his close relationship with his attorney.

The decision, which came after a referral from Mueller, also opened a new flank in the legal battles for Trump, as the raid was conducted by a federal attorney's office in New York.

In building a case to fire Rosenstein, some Trump allies such as Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE (R-N.C.) have pointed to delays in congressional probes receiving documents from the Justice Department. Meadows on Tuesday said if the attorney general and deputy attorney general couldn't deliver the documents quickly, "let's find two who will."

Trump also urged supporters to watch Fox News host Sean Hannity's show on Wednesday, during which Hannity called for Rosenstein to be fired.