Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, plans to step down within the next month, according to administration officials familiar with his thinking.
Rosenstein had long intended to serve about two years as the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, these officials say. They add that this is his own plan and that he is not being forced out by the White House. That’s despite the fact that he’s been a frequent target of criticism from President Donald Trump on Twitter.
The administration officials say he plans to remain on the job until after a new attorney general is confirmed. After pushing out Jeff Sessions in November, Trump nominated William Barr, who planned to be at the Capitol on Wednesday, beginning a round of courtesy calls with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing, which begins Jan. 15.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday on Fox News: “I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years. My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him.”
Rosenstein’s intentions were first reported by ABC News. He did not respond to questions Wednesday morning.
SOURCE: Pete Williams and Allan Smith