One Justice Department official said Rosenstein was on his way to the White House Monday preparing to be fired. Solicitor General Noel Francisco might assume the role of overseeing the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates conspired with those efforts.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told White House officials he is willing to resign after revelations that he once suggested secretly recording the president. It is not clear if the resignation has been accepted, the Washington Post reports. One Justice Department official said Rosenstein was on his way to the White House Monday preparing to be fired.
Rosenstein has been overseeing the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates conspired with those efforts.
The role of overseeing the investigation could fall to Solicitor General Noel Francisco. One Trump adviser said the president has not been pressuring Rosenstein to leave the job, but his resignation had been a topic of discussions all weekend. The person said Rosenstein had told others that he should resign because he “felt very compromised” and was now a potential witness in the Russia probe rather than a supervisor.
Rosenstein has been the target of Trump’s public ire and private threats for months. Uncertainty about his future deepened after the report on Friday that memos written by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said that in May 2017, Rosenstein suggested secretly recording the president and trying to muster support for invoking the 25th amendment to replace Trump.
On Friday, Rosenstein denied he ever seriously contemplated secretly recording the president or pursuing the 25th amendment replacement of a sitting president, as was reported by the New York Times.
Also on Friday, President Trump continued his attacks on federal law enforcement, promising to root out the “real bad ones” and eliminate the “lingering stench” at the Justice Department. He appeared to allude to the reports on Rosenstein. “Just look at what is now being exposed in the Department of Justice and the FBI,” Trump told a crowd in Missouri crowd. “We have great people in the Department of Justice, but you have some real bad ones.