Rosenstein leaving DOJ after Barr confirmation: reports

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony Feds will not charge officer who killed Eric Garner MORE is expected to leave the Department of Justice (DOJ) within weeks.

Rosenstein has told President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 SessionsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender 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.