Rumors that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would either be fired by Trump or voluntarily resign have been floating around for months now. But on Tuesday, CNN reported that he plans to leave in mid-March.
There has been some talk that Rosenstein would leave once a new attorney general was confirmed, in order to ensure a smooth transition. With Bill Barr having been confirmed last Thursday, it would seem that the time is right.
But I would remind you that, according to a report from NBC News in early January, there is another factor incorporated into the timing.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the special counsel investigation, plans to step down after Robert Mueller finishes his work, according to administration officials familiar with his thinking.
A source close to Rosenstein said he intends to stay on until Mueller’s investigative and prosecutorial work is done. The source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March. Several legal sources have said they expect the Mueller team to conclude its work by mid-to-late February, although they said that timeline could change based on unforeseen investigative developments.
The source said once Mueller’s work is done, the special counsel’s report to the Justice Department would follow a few weeks later, and Rosenstein would likely be gone by then.
The other thing we’ve been hearing rumors about for months now is that Mueller’s probe might be nearing completion. But those have usually be based on what we can divine about the special counsel’s activities. This one emanates from a completely different place: the deputy attorney general who initiated the process is about to announce his resignation because Mueller’s work is almost done.