Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Exiting Job
25 Setiembre, 2018, 02:43 | Author: Arnold Perez
Conflicting reports have surfaced on the possible resignation or firing of US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election.
Rosenstein has now traveled to the White House to meet with Trump, after it emerged he'd offered to wear a secret wire to catch the president's alleged rants.
Trump appointed Rosenstein as deputy attorney general but had expressed extreme frustration with him for months, partly over his decision to hire Mueller past year.
Other reports suggested that Rosenstein had made a decision to beat Trump to the chase and resign before he could be fired, but that turned out not to be the case.
One Justice Department official said Rosenstein is preparing to be fired.
The White House used Rosenstein's memo to justify Comey's firing.
Trump was not at the White House; he traveled to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.
Insider sources have said Rosenstein is expected to be fired in response to a damning New York Times report, which claimed he discussed secretly recording the president and invoking the 25th Amendment.
The reports about Rosenstein add to the turmoil roiling the administration, just six weeks before midterm elections with control of Congress at stake.
Trump, who on Friday suggested that he would remove a "lingering stench" from the Justice Department, did not publicly reveal any plans over the weekend. They say Rosenstein won't resign and the WH will have to fire him. He also reportedly raised the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment, which would remove the president from office on the grounds of mental incapacity.
Rosenstein strongly denied the report. With Rosenstein's exit, solicitor general Noel Francisco would oversee the investigation. He dispatched his former bodyguard to fire former FBI Director James Comey - though Comey was out of town.
Rosenstein also signed off on Mueller sending a tax and fraud case against Michael Cohen to the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of NY, a move that ultimately led to an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on the offices and homes of the President's former lawyer, who is now speaking with prosecutors. He angrily asked confidants, both inside and outside the White House, how to respond.
The next day at the hearing, Rosenstein tried to keep Democrats happy by defending Mueller, saying it would have been "difficult to find anyone more qualified" for the role of special counsel.
Rosenstein has defended Mueller and been a target of Trump since he assumed supervision of the Russian Federation investigation after his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, recused himself because of his own contacts with Russia's ambassador to Washington while serving as a Trump campaign adviser became public.
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