Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Rosenstein Source Says Mueller Probe Will End By Beginning of March

Rosenstein Source Says Mueller Probe Will End By Beginning of March

Such assurances have taken on increased meaning with the reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is looking to leave the Justice Department once Barr is confirmed.

Barr's confirmation as attorney general ― a position now occupied on an acting basis by Matthew Whitaker following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions ― would ensure a smooth transition, the person said. The source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March.

If confirmed, Barr would replace appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and would assume oversight of the Mueller investigation.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Politico on Wednesday that Trump should withdraw Barr's nomination because of a memo that Barr sent to senior Justice Department officials in June 2018 questioning Mueller's investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing James Comey as FBI director.

Officials told ABC and Fox that Rosenstein had planned to serve as deputy for two years - a milestone that was approaching. "My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him". As Law&Crime's Ronn Blitzer noted, Barr would oversee the Mueller Probe if/when he is confirmed.

However, Graham said after meeting with Barr Wednesday that he was not concerned that Barr would interfere with the Mueller investigation.

But he has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump's criticism.

Rosenstein was said to have discussed removing Trump from office or secretly recording conversations with him; he said he never authorized any action after those conversations but Justice Department sources said he expected to be fired.

But Rosenstein's anticipated departure may come before the penultimate step in the Trump-Russia probe: the decision on whether to make that report public or turn it over to Congress. Rosenstein will stay on to ensure a smooth transition for Barr, the official said, adding that Rosenstein has viewed his current job as a two-year stint and is not being forced out.

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". "Whether it's Bob Mueller or Rod Rosenstein or Matt Whitaker or Bill Barr, that investigation's going to be handled appropriately by the Department of Justice".

He has accused the investigation of being led by "Democrat loyalists".

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