Rosenstein to leave Justice Department: reports


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference to announce efforts to reduce transnational crime, at the U.S. District Attorney’s office, in Washington, U.S., October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has overseen the Russian election meddling probe, is set to leave the U.S. Department of Justice in coming weeks as President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the department is set to take over, several U.S. media outlets reported on Wednesday.

Rosenstein has had oversight of the U.S. Special Counsel’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to Trump’s campaign. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an early Trump supporter during the presidential campaign, had recused himself.

William Barr, Trump’s pick to replace Sessions who was fired soon after the November midterm congressional elections, is set to appear for a confirmation hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must weigh his nomination before the full Senate considers his approval.

ABC News, citing multiple sources familiar with Rosenstein’s plans, reported that he intended to leave in the coming weeks as Barr transitioned into the job. Fox News, citing unnamed Justice Department officials, also reported the planned departure in weeks. CNN also reported the move, citing an unnamed source.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the reports and representatives for the Justice Department could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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