Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department in the coming weeks after the confirmation of President Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rosenstein, whose tenure as the Justice Department’s second-in-command has been rocky, had long planned to hold the position for about two years. The arrival of a new attorney general would be a logical time for him to depart, and there were no indications he is being forced out.
Rosenstein, a longtime federal prosecutor, became the department’s No. 2 early in Trump’s term. Rosenstein has overseen special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation because Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself, making Rosenstein a frequent target of Mr. Trump’s ire. Barr is expected to be confirmed after hearings next week. Associates have said Barr was hesitant to take the job but did so under certain conditions, including that he be able to choose his own deputy. Rosenstein’s departure will likely prompt fears about the future of the Mueller probe, though even now, Rosenstein is not technically in charge of it, the Washington Post reports. Rosenstein appointed Mueller to probe whether the president’s campaign had coordinated with the Kremlin because then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was recused from the matter