Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is reportedly resigning amidst rumors that Trump wants to fire him, following allegations that Rosenstein secretly recorded him.
UPDATE 4/29/19: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation letter to President Trump on April 29, 2019, which will become effective on May 11. It came just over a month after Robert Mueller delivered his final 448 page report on Russian collusion in Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign. It read “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Attorney General William Barr thanked Rod for his “dedication and distinction” while serving in the Justice Department.
Rosenstein wrote to Trump, “I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education and prosperity.”
UPDATE: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is to remain in his job for now, and is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, September 27, per the White House. “At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.”
ORIGINAL: Rod Rosenstein may be out at the White House. The deputy attorney general expects to be fired on Monday, September 24, according to a source who spoke to Axios. He reportedly verbally resigned to a White House official over the weekend before that could happen. His impending resignation follows a bombshell New York Times report that Rosenstein had secretly taping conversations with President Donald Trump. Rosenstein was on his way to the White House on Monday morning to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, according to NYT. President Trump, however, is in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, and it’s unclear if he would accept a resignation, fire Rosenstein, or ask he remain onboard. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on a flight back to DC from Alabama.
Days before his reported resignation, private discussions were revealed in which Rosenstein talked about invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office, as well as secretly taping the president to “expose chaos” in the White House. In the case of Rosenstein’s departure, Solicitor General Noel Francisco would take on oversight of the Mueller probe; attorney general Sessions recused himself from the investigation when the probe began. The acting attorney general would be Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff.
Rosenstein has butted heads with Trump for months, following the FBI’s decision to raid the office of the president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian collusion during the Trump 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen has since pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.Trump has repeatedly expressed his anger at the Justice Department, feeling that the top officials haven’t done enough to protect him from the probe.
Rosenstein has defended Mueller from the beginning, repeatedly refusing to fire him despite accusations from Trump that the special counsel’s investigation is a “witch hunt” by Democrats. Rosenstein’s upcoming departure begs the question whether Trump would try, yet again, to take down Mueller.