Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to step down — before Trump can fire him: report
Rod Rosenstein has reportedly told White House chief of staff John Kelly he plans to resign as deputy attorney general after enduring months of public criticism from President Donald Trump.
Rosenstein, who assumed oversight of the FBI’s investigation into Russian involvement in Donald Trump’s campaign after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, has long been a target of Trump’s ire after he appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.
Axios reported that Rosenstein verbally tendered his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation that he would be fired by the president.
“He’s expecting to be fired,” a source told Axios.
But other sources told Reuters that the Axios report was incorrect.
Axios later updated its article to note that “it’s unclear whether the resignation offer has been accepted.”
The New York Times reported Friday that Rosenstein suggested secretly recording Trump and floated the possibility of removing him through the 25th Amendment.
The president’s displeasure increased following an FBI raid on Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. The president described the search as “an attack on our country.”
Sources told NBC News earlier this year that Rosenstein “seemed fully aware he may soon lose his job and was at peace with the possibility.”
The president called the FBI’s investigation regarding possible Russian ties “a disgrace” and, when asked how he would respond to the raid on his attorney, stated, “we’ll see what happens.”
According to Reuters, Rosenstein’s replacement, by way of legal succession, “would fall to Solicitor General Noel Francisco, according to an internal Justice Department memo on succession from November 2016 that is still in effect.”
Rosenstein was elevated to his position in January of 2017 by Trump after the president fired Sally Yates.