Rosenstein to leave DOJ in coming weeks, sources say

AP source Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Department of Justice in weeks

When asked about the report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News that the president was not trying to force Rosenstein to quit, though she refused to either confirm or deny that the deputy attorney general intends to leave.

Rosenstein's job status has appeared tenuous at times, most notably in September, when he showed up at the White House expecting to be fired over news reports that he had discussed secretly recording the president.

William Barr, President's Donald Trump's nominee to be the permanent attorney general, is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week for his confirmation hearings. ABC News noted he had been a frequent target of Trump's Twitter attacks in the past.

He also wanted to help ensure Barr, if confirmed by the Senate, had a smooth transition, ABC said, citing sources.

Rosenstein has stayed on under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, whose controversial appointment sparked numerous legal challenges and raised questions about what role he would play regarding the investigation. Russian Federation has also denied any election interference.

There is no set timeline for Mr Rosenstein's departure, according to U.S. media.

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Rosenstein, who was nominated to the post in February 2017 and had apparently thought of serving for about two years, and wants to ensure a smooth transition, several sources familiar with his plans told ABC News on Wednesday.

Rosenstein took charge of overseeing Mueller's Russian Federation probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Ahead of Barr's Senate confirmation hearing next week, top Justice Department officials have sought to downplay his previous argument that the president can't be investigated for obstructing justice. "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".

Barr was nominated in December to run the Justice Department after Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of Trump, according to a letter delivered to the White House. After an embattled turn in that role, Sessions stepped down at the end of a year ago and was replaced temporarily by Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.

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

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