Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Justice Department in mid-March

Posted at 7:08 AM, Feb 19, 2019

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department in mid-March, according to a Justice Department official who spoke to CNN Monday.

The No. 2 official at the department has become one of the highest profile figures in the Trump administration given his oversight of the Russia investigation and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017.

CNN had previously reported that Rosenstein was planning to step down after Bill Barr was confirmed as attorney general, but the precise timing was fluid. A departure next month could potentially serve as another signal that Mueller's work is coming to a close.

The Justice official who confirmed Rosenstein's current thinking disputed the idea that the timing of his departure has anything to do with the latest revelations from former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, emphasizing that the plan was always to have Rosenstein help with the transition for his successor and then leave, as Barr previewed during his Senate confirmation hearing.

McCabe has asserted Rosenstein raised the idea of wearing a wire to secretly record President Donald Trump and talked about which cabinet officials might oust him from office under the 25th Amendment. The Justice Department has said McCabe's characterization of his conversations with Rosenstein are inaccurate.

The new deputy attorney general could be announced as early as this week. As CNN has reported, Attorney General Bill Barr has selected Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy transportation secretary, as his deputy.