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Rosenstein leaving DOJ after Barr confirmation: reports

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE is expected to leave the Department of Justice (DOJ) within weeks.

Rosenstein has told President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump 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) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting 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 SessionsTime to bring federal employees home for every holiday Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 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.