Rosenstein leaving DOJ after Barr confirmation: reports

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE is expected to leave the Department of Justice (DOJ) within weeks.

Rosenstein has told President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE that he plans to leave following the confirmation of Attorney General nominee William Barr, according to CNN and ABC News.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders all but confirmed the move during a Wednesday interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” saying Rosenstein “has always planned to roughly stay around two years.”

Sanders said she does not believe “there’s any willingness by the president or the White House to push him out” and added she suspects Rosenstein is “making room” for Barr to build his own team.

“I know he has a great deal of respect for the new nominee for attorney general, Mr. Barr, and I think they have a great relationship,” the spokesperson said.

Barr's confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee are slated for next week.

Sources told The Washington Post, however, that there are no firm plans for Rosenstein's departure or a timeline. 

NBC News reported that Rosenstein won't leave until Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE submits his final report.

 

Rosenstein oversees special counsel Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after Trump's first attorney general, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media Nadler considering holding Lewandowski in contempt Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE, recused himself from the probe.

Trump has often lashed out at the DOJ over the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt" and accusing the department and the FBI of bias against him.

Trump in November forced the resignation of Sessions and appointed Sessions's chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general. Whitaker is now overseeing the Mueller probe despite past public criticism of the investigation.

If confirmed, Barr would take over for Whitaker in overseeing the investigation.

Rosenstein's departure would come after a rocky tenure as deputy attorney general.

Speculation swirled late last year that Trump would fire him after The New York Times reported that he discussed secretly taping the president and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. 

Updated at 4 p.m.