Attorney General pick Barr expresses confidence in Mueller

GettyImages-1074464990

GettyImages-1074464990

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, plans to leave the Justice Department shortly after a new attorney general is sworn into office, according to sources.

Republicans, of course, control the Senate with 53 votes, so ― barring some huge revelation ― Barr's confirmation doesn't appear to be in any real jeopardy.

Rosenstein has been overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing "Russiagate" investigation since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the role in March 2017.

"I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years".

A former US attorney, Rosenstein expected to be fired back in September 2018 after a report surfaced that he offered to wear a wire during conversations with Trump.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who had backed legislation to protect the Mueller probe, said Rosenstein's presence at DOJ "has been reassuring to many of us who are concerned about the independence of the special counsel's investigation".

Rosenstein, who was nominated to the post in February 2017 and had apparently thought of serving for about two years, and wants to ensure a smooth transition, several sources familiar with his plans told ABC News on Wednesday.

Barr wrote a memo in June critical of Mueller's potential investigation into obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump in firing former FBI Director James Comey.

The U.S. leader later explained that he retweeted the image because he believed Rosenstein "belongs behind bars" over his decision to pick Mueller to take over the Russian Federation probe, which Trump has repeatedly blasted as a "witch hunt", in May 2017, shortly after the president fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke after meeting with Barr, who was making the rounds with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing scheduled for next week.

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

A person familiar with Rosenstein's thinking told HuffPost that there's now no concrete, specific plan in place for Rosenstein's resignation but said he's expecting to depart after Barr's confirmation.

She says he wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason".

It is unclear how Barr's criticisms will come into play during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Rosenstein has been frequently criticised by Trump, who calls the Russian Federation investigation a "witch-hunt" and denies any collusion with Moscow.

Graham also told reporters that Barr said he wants the report Mueller is expected to produce to be "transparent".

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