Attorney General pick Barr expresses confidence in Mueller

AP source Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Department of Justice in weeks

AP source Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expected to leave Department of Justice in weeks

Rosenstein has informed President Donald Trump and the White House that he intends to step down whenever William Barr, Trump's nominee for the position of attorney general, takes office after being confirmed by the Senate, ABC News reported, citing multiple officials familiar with the matter.

The source said Rosenstein is not being forced out, and he has conveyed his thinking to the White House.

She says he wants to help with the transition to a new attorney general.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Barr is visiting senators on Capitol Hill ahead of his confirmation hearings next week.

Graham said Barr told him about his longtime relationship with Mueller.

In October, speculation mounted that Trump would fire Rosenstein, after a salacious New York Times op-ed by a supposed Trump cabinet "insider" claimed that Rosenstein had suggested wearing a wire to secretly record the president to prove he was unfit for office.




Graham listed a number of questions that he had put to Barr: 'I asked Mr. Barr directly, 'Do you think Mr. Mueller is on a witch hunt?' He said no.

If confirmed, Barr would replace appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and would assume oversight of the Mueller investigation.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks as FBI Director Christopher Wray listens during a news conference to announce a China related national security law enforcement action December 20, 2018 at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. Rosenstein is reportedly expected to depart from the White House in coming weeks. The Mueller investigation into alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election has been going on for nearly two years.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason".

Barr submitted a memo to the Justice Department past year that argued the law doesn't support an inquiry into whether Trump may have obstructed justice if he tried to frustrate the Russian Federation investigation. That could leave the decision in the hands of Barr, who has expansive views of executive power and wrote an unsolicited memo to Rosenstein in June 2018 knocking Mueller for probing whether the president's firing of Comey was obstruction of justice. "He has no reason for Mr. Mueller to stop doing his job and is committed to letting Mr. Mueller finish his work", Graham said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Rosenstein's planned departure is going to "really raise the stakes" of Barr's confirmation hearing next week, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that he believes Trump should withdraw Barr's nomination.

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