US Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein sends resignation letter to Trump

April FrancisMay 01, 2019

Rosenstein had made clear previous year that he would step down after Mueller´s report was released.

Rosenstein's name also appeared on the FISA surveillance warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, which the president and his associates believe was used to USA spy agencies to gain access to the entire campaign in the run-up to the 2016 election. Rosenstein and Barr concluded that Trump did not obstruct justice.

Mr Rosenstein, 54, served for two years and found himself in Mr Trump's crosshairs after he chose Robert Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, to investigate Russia's alleged election interference.

After Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in 2017, Rosenstein inherited authority over that probe.

Later a report said that he had offered to record the president surreptitiously in support of an effort to oust him from office, which he denied vehemently.

He also defended the investigation against attacks from congressional Republicans and Trump, who often blasted it as a "witch hunt".

He came under direct pressure previous year when media reported that, in the wake of Comey's firing and other controversial actions by Trump, Rosenstein privately discussed with top Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials recording the president in his offices for evidence that he was unfit, so that he could be constitutionally removed. The White House had no immediate comment, but noted that Trump had already nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen to replace him.

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Correspondents say Mr Rosenstein had been expected to resign in March, following the appointment of William Barr as attorney general.

Barr said in a statement on Monday that Rosenstein's "devotion to the Department and its professionals is unparalleled".

The Deputy Attorney-General position is a significant job, responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Justice Department and the work of United States attorneys. Rosenstein is the person who appointed Mueller back in 2017.

Mr Trump lashed out the following April after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the office of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and months later retweeted the image that showed Mr Rosenstein, Mr Comey and other investigators behind bars.

Rosenstein reportedly drafted his resignation, but stayed on after a meeting with Trump, saying he would see the Mueller investigation through.

He highlighted the importance of the post he is stepping down from in the resignation letter, he wrote: "We enforce the law without fear or favour because credible evidence is not partisan". "We ignore fleeting distractions and focus our attention on the things that matter". Rosenstein's resignation will become effective on May 11, 2019.

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