Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department in the middle of March, a department official confirmed Monday.
The deputy AG became a high-profile figure at the department considering he oversaw special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after his former boss Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe.
As a result, he often found himself in President Donald Trump’s crosshairs, who has repeatedly deemed the Russia investigation “a witch hunt.”
The role of overseeing the probe has now been taken by Attorney General William Barr, who was confirmed last week.
According to reports, Rosenstein had been planning to exit the DOJ after Barr’s confirmation and the timing, The Hill writes, indicated that Mueller’s probe may be coming to an end. His departure from the Justice Department comes only days after former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that Rosenstein had offered to record President Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, claims the deputy AG has repeatedly denied.
A department official maintained the two are unrelated and added that the plan was always to have Rosenstein help with the transition for his successor and then leave.
Rosenstein will reportedly be replaced by Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen, who was chosen by Barr and is expected to be announced in the new role next week.