WASHINGTON – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein plans to leave the Justice Department in mid-March, agency officials told news outlets Monday.
A Justice Department official said that Rosenstein’s departure is not related to a controversy surrounding his alleged offer to wear a wire during conversations with President Donald Trump, according to CNN. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe claimed in an interview that aired Sunday that Rosenstein broached the idea of wearing a wire to the White House in May 2017, days after James Comey was fired as FBI director.
McCabe also claimed that Rosenstein suggested using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein has disputed McCabe’s claims, saying that he was being sarcastic about wearing a wire.
Rosenstein was reportedly planning to leave the Justice Department soon after William Barr’s confirmation as attorney general. Barr was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 14.
Rosenstein planned to remain in office to ensure a smooth transition from Matthew Whitaker, the former acting attorney general, to Barr.
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According to CNN, the Justice Department could announce a replacement for Rosenstein as soon as this week.
Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller special counsel on May 17, 2017, around a week after Comey’s firing. He oversaw the probe because former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from Russia-related matters.