Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Justice Department in weeks

AP source Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Department of Justice in weeks

William Barr, President's Donald Trump's nominee to be the permanent attorney general, is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week for his confirmation hearings.

Barr's dance card included incoming Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; outgoing Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and Nebraska Republican Sen.

Barr's nomination is likely to meet heavy scrutiny regarding the ongoing investigation, particularly from Democrats, following reports he had written a memo in June questioning the probe.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Trump administration in the coming weeks, according to multiple reports Wednesday. Confirmation hearings are set for next week, after which (presuming he is confirmed as expected) Rosenstein will leave the Department of Justice and Barr will ostensibly oversee the Mueller investigation that is nearing its second year looking into alleged malfeasance by the Trump campaign.

Barr submitted a memo to the Justice Department previous 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.

The deputy attorney general has been managing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation and has signaled to other officials that he would leave when he was satisfied that Mueller's investigation was either complete or close enough to completion that it was protected.

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Mr Rosenstein has spent his career at the Department of Justice, and most recently served for 12 years as the US Attorney General for the state of Maryland before beginning his current role in April 2017. Soon after, Rosenstein named Mueller as special counsel.

The deputy attorney general reportedly made the decision to step down and was not forced out by the White House.

There is no set timeline for Mr Rosenstein's departure, according to U.S. media.

Rosenstein was said to have discussed removing Trump from office or secretly recording conversations with him; he said he never authorized any action after those conversations but Justice Department sources said he expected to be fired.

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

At a news conference in December, Rosenstein said that Mueller's investigation would be "handled appropriately" no matter who is overseeing it.

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