Report: Rosenstein out as deputy AG (updated)

  • 24 September 2018
  • NormanL

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, is resigning...before he could be fired:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge. Per a second source with direct knowledge: “He’s expecting to be fired,” so he plans to step down.

This comes on the heels of an explosive New York Times story reporting Rosenstein suggested secretly taping the president, and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office:

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.

Mr. Rosenstein made these suggestions in the spring of 2017 when Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director plunged the White House into turmoil. Over the ensuing days, the president divulged classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide.

The president -- to no one's surprise -- didn't take this story well. Nor should he. Lower-level cabinet officials proposing to oust a duly-elected president based upon little more than feelings is a terrible and dangerous precedent that no White House occupant can, or should, leave unchecked.

UPDATE

New reports have Rosenstein staying in his post at least until he meets with the president Thursday:

...Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein will stay in his job for now, but will meet with the president on Thursday to discuss the tensions that officials said nearly led to his departure earlier in the day.

Multiple officials said that during a series of conversations over the weekend between and among White House and Justice Department officials, it appeared Rosenstein planned to resign on Monday, in the wake of reports that he had once suggested secretly recording the president and mounting an effort within the Cabinet to remove him from office.

During some of those conversations, Rosenstein indicated that his resignation might be warranted to end the controversy, according to people familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

As the old saying goes, this is a developing story...

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