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Rod Rosenstein, central figure behind Mueller inquiry, expected to step down

20 February 2019

Newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr's son-in-law just left his job in the Justice Department for a post in the White House counsel's office, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest.

Rosenstein had always been expected to leave once President Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, William Barr, took office. As CNN has reported, Attorney General Bill Barr has selected Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy transportation secretary, as his deputy. Rosen is now the deputy secretary of transportation.

A registered Republican, Rosenstein made the decision because his then-boss, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Trump supporter during the 2016 campaign, had recused himself from the issue.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller because Jeff Sessions, who was attorney general at the time, had recused himself from matters related to the Russian Federation investigation.

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Mr Rosenstein has frequently been the target of President Donald Trump's criticism.

Most recently, Trump accused Rosenstein, along with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, of pursuing an "illegal and treasonous" plot against him after McCabe detailed private DOJ discussions about secretly recording and potentially ousting the president.

The Justice official said Rosenstein's departure was not related to renewed allegations that he considered wearing a wire in meetings with Trump and using the 25th amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove the president from office.

The Justice Department has said McCabe's characterization of his conversations with Rosenstein are inaccurate.

Rod Rosenstein, central figure behind Mueller inquiry, expected to step down