Deputy AG Rosenstein to Depart After Confirmation of New AG

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

Mr Rosenstein appointed Mr Mueller to the role of special counsel in May 2017 to investigate any collusion between Mr Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation after Jeff Sessions, the then attorney general, recused himself from the probe. The source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March.

"I don't think there's any willingness by the President or the White House to push him out", Sanders said.

Officials told ABC and Fox that Rosenstein had planned to serve as deputy for two years - a milestone that was approaching.

The president's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, said Wednesday that he doesn't think special counsel Robert Mueller is on a "witch hunt", doesn't think he should be fired and is committed to making sure that Mueller finishes his investigation, according to Republican Sen.

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Barr met with Republican lawmakers as he works to build support for Senate confirmation as the top USA law enforcement official, and is slated to meet with the panel's top Democrat on Thursday, according to a department official.

"Barr must commit to supporting special counsel Mueller's investigation and allowing him to follow the facts", said Sen. He has long overseen the investigation and has frequently drawn Trump's ire.

The newspaper also reported that he suggested secretly recording Mr Trump to expose White House turmoil and dysfunction.

If Barr's chances for confirmation appear strong, Democrats nonetheless are expected to question him sharply about the skepticism he has voiced about the Russian Federation investigation.

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". Barr wrote a memo in June critical of Mueller's potential investigation into obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump in firing former FBI Director James Comey. Also, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department a year ago critiquing Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice by firing James Comey as FBI director. Barr and Mueller worked together when Barr was Bush's attorney general from 1991 to 1993 and Mueller oversaw the department's criminal division. But Democrats will use the hearing as an opportunity to extract commitments from the nominee about his approach to the Mueller investigation.

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