Deputy AG Rosenstein to Step Down in May

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference in Washington on Nov. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday told President Donald Trump he will leave his position at the Justice Department effective May 11.

Rosenstein’s resignation comes less than two weeks after the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein appointed Mueller to conduct the investigation in May 2017 and he appeared to obliquely reference the probe in his one-page resignation letter to Trump.

“Our nation is safer, our elections are more secure and our citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence efforts and schemes to commit fraud, steal intellectual property and launch cyberattacks,” Rosenstein wrote.

Rosenstein’s tenure at the department was defined by the Mueller probe, as he oversaw the investigation for most of its duration after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters involving the Trump campaign.

Rosenstein’s resignation has been expected for months and Trump has already tapped his replacement – Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen. Rosen sat for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 10 and his nomination is set to be considered for the first time by the committee on Thursday. 

Rosenstein was on multiple occasions rumored to be nearing resignation, including in September, when Axios reported he offered his resignation to then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Before appointing Mueller, Rosenstein also penned a letter that Trump used as justification for firing then-FBI Director James Comey, an action that became a flashpoint for the investigation that ensued.

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