By Steve Neavling
Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who hired Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference during the election, is preparing to leave his post.
The career prosecutor’s departure comes as the Senate prepares to confirm President Trump’s pick for attorney general, William Barr. The hearing is set to begin Jan. 15, and it could take a month or more before he is confirmed.
There are no signs that Rosenstein is being forced out by Trump, ABC reports.
Speculation mounted that Trump would fire Rosenstein in September after The New York Times reported the deputy AG considered secretly recording the president and invoking the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Trump has called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt, even as the special counsel secured convictions of some of the president’s former top aides.
Rosenstein had the authority to appoint a special counsel to investigate election interference because then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any inquiries into Russia’s contacts with the Trump campaign team. Rosenstein appointed Mueller after Trump fired his FBI director, James Comey, who told lawmakers the president pressured him to stop investigating his national security director, Michael Flynn, who was later indicted.